Retirement Account Basics for 2020 – Some Changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to volatile markets, and your retirement account may have a much smaller balance than only a few short months ago. In response to the economic fallout stemming from the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was primarily aimed at providing quick…

Obtaining Loan Forgiveness through the Payment Protection Program

One of the major provisions of the CARES Act is the Payment Protection Program (PPP), a loan program created to incentivize the retention of employees in small businesses. Under the PPP, small businesses can obtain loans to pay for payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. The deadline for submitting a PPP loan application is June 30, 2020, but because the loans will be disbursed on…

Preparing older and sick loved ones for flu and coronavirus

Here at Bernstein Law Group, PC, we are following the news about Coronavirus and a second burst of the traditional flu that’s impacting people in our community. While we don’t believe that anyone should panic, we do want to encourage anyone with older or immuno-compromised loved ones to be prepared. The CDC is encouraging everyone to have extra food and supplies on hand, in the event…

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…

Why Should You Want to Avoid Probate?

One of the main benefits of estate and trust planning in Essex and Middlesex Counties is the avoidance of probate proceedings. But what does that mean? And why should you want to avoid probate in the first place? The main reason to avoid probate is simply that it can be a long, public, and costly process that could have you or your loved ones tied…

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…

Your Vacation Checklist

You’ve packed sunblock and a beach novel. You’ve planned your itinerary and bought plane tickets. But have you ensured that your estate plan is up to date?  Don’t leave home without making sure your financial health and the future of your loved ones is provided for. It’s even more crucial than getting a pet sitter and locking the front door.  Creating an Estate PlanIf you…

How to Avoid a Disastrous Will or Trust Contest

A will or trust contest can derail your final wishes, rapidly deplete your estate, and tear your loved ones apart. But with proper planning, you can prevent that result. What is a Will or Trust Contest? A will or trust contest is a type of lawsuit that is filed to object to the validity of a will or trust. Who Can Contest a Will or…

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…

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