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January 2013 Archives

3 Ways to Start Your Estate Planning

So, you're thinking about doing your estate plan, but where should you begin?

An estate plan can be simple to draw up, if your estate is simple and includes few assets. But if you have a more complex estate, things can get tricky.

For the purpose of this discussion, we'll talk about more simple estates. Here are three ways to start your estate planning:

3 Different Education Savings Plans Compared

During tax season, you hear about all sorts of tools to help you save on taxes and help you plan your investments more prudently. If you have children, you might want to consider saving for their education.

There are several options for education savings. The three that most people consider are the custodial account, the Coverdell ESA, and the 529 Plan.

Let's look at all three.

Financial Planner vs. Estate Planner: What's the Difference?

It's never too late for a basic crash course on estate planning. Often, people confuse estate planning with financial planning. They assume that a financial planner can help with all of their estate planning needs.

While there are numerous posts and articles online about Estate Planning 101 and the basics of planning an estate, we can never be too redundant on that topic.

So, let's get back to basics here and talk about estate planning. Not everyone knows what it means. For starters, there's a difference between "financial planning" and "estate planning."

Ada Huxtable Dies in NYC, Leaves Estate to Getty Institute in LA

Former New York Times writer Ada Louise Huxtable passed away on Monday in New York. She is best known for her architectural criticism and received a Pulitzer Prize for her critiques. Most recently, she wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

Huxtable, 91, died of cancer, according to her attorney. She began writing for The Times in 1963, as the newspaper's first architecture critic. She claimed that architecture should primarily be judged by how it makes the people who use it feel.

She was also one of the early advocates of historic preservation in a city filled with historic buildings. One of her most memorable criticisms came from her thoughts on the new Penn Station building and the demolition of the old one.

Can Jenni Rivera's Letter Be Treated Like a Will?

Fans of Latin American music and TV know the name Jenni Rivera. The singer-actress died in a plane crash in Mexico last month. She was 43 years old.

While fans will remember Rivera for her life accomplishments, her estate may be the subject of controversy, writes Forbes. Rivera was married three times. Her third marriage was about to end in divorce at the time of her death.

She left behind no will, but rather a letter with detailed instructions. But will Jenni Rivera's letter hold up in court?

Fiscal Cliff Averted, But 2012 Estate Tax Law Barely Changed

The new year has rolled in, and the nation has dodged the fiscal cliff.

In a series of last-minute pow-wows, lawmakers finally came together and crafted a solution to avoid the impending fiscal cliff.

For estate planners out there, don't start looking for your plates to get full. The estate tax issues in the fiscal cliff have changed, but not as dramatically as many had hoped.