E-state Planning Alert: SECURE Act: Problem or Opportunity?

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act). The SECURE Act, which is effective January 1, 2020, is the most impactful retirement legislation of the past decade. It increases the age for required minimum distributions from retirement accounts from 70 ½ to 72 years of age. However, among the many provisions in the new law…

Estate Planning Awareness Week: Why Does Estate Planning Matter to Your Clients?

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or…

Tax Strategies to Move Your Clients Forward

The 2019 estate tax exemption is $11.4 million per person, up from $11.2 million per person in 2018. According to the Tax Policy Center, only 4,000 federal estate tax returns were filed this year, with only 1,900 of those returns owing tax. Some industry experts estimate that less than one percent of all estates are taxable federally.  Put another way, over 99 percent of all…

The Personal Guarantee: 5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Reduce Their Liability

Small businesses make a huge contribution to the U.S. economy. Nevertheless, starting a new business is risky. Lenders view loans to small businesses, particularly start-ups, as among the riskiest they make, particularly when there is little or no credit history or business revenue on which to base their decision. In an effort to lessen their risk, lenders frequently require small business owners to sign personal…

Dealing with Negative Online Reviews of Your Business

You’ve worked hard to build your small business. Nothing is more frustrating than negative online reviews, particularly if you feel they are unjustified or have been posted in bad faith. There are several steps that you can take to prevent your business’s reputation from being damaged by unfavorable reviews. Respond promptly and professionally. More and more potential customers are turning to internet review sites like…

Coordinate Retirement and Estate Planning For Improved Client Relationships

Retirement accounts are designed to help make the transition between working and retiring easier. They provide a steady stream of income for retirees who are suddenly without take-home pay for the first time in their lives. Unlike other assets your clients may have, these accounts require extra planning and consideration since retirement account distributions are subject to income tax for the account owner and the…

Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Business

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses, and small businesses are not immune from the threats posed by cybercriminals. Don’t be complacent because your business is small: Almost half of all cyberattacks in the U.S. are directed at small businesses. In recognition of this serious problem, in August 2018, President Trump signed into law the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act, requiring the federal government to…

Breaking News: State Bills Introduced in Massachusetts to Change the Estate Tax

In an effort to provide you with the latest estate planning news – Two bills were introduced to the Massachusetts State Senate which, if enacted, will change the Massachusetts Estate Tax laws. The first bill, S.1631, entitled “An Act to Mitigate Snowbird Relocation”, would increase the state estate tax exemption from the current $1 million to $2 million. Additionally, the tax rates are to be…

Don’t Allow New Accounts to Catch Clients Unaware

  As a financial or tax professional, what could be more important than the financial health of your clients? As you know, a comprehensive trust-centered estate plan allows your clients to provide for loved ones, affording them immense peace of mind. But, estate planning is not a one-time event since trust-centered estate plans require careful supervision and regular reviews to function properly. Accordingly, it’s crucial…

Impact of Tax Reform on Small Businesses

Now that it’s tax season, you may be concerned how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, will impact your small business. The reforms represent the most sweeping tax overhaul in 30 years and could have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line—but they may have left you feeling a little confused. Here are some of the most important changes. Qualified…

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