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Estate Planning – Estate Tax Marital Deduction

First, an explanation about why this letter discusses the estate tax marital deduction at all. Technically, the estate tax marital deduction is no longer available for 2010 because there is no estate tax, period, currently on the books for 2010. Consensus, however, is that this interim 2010 period with no estate tax will be repealed by Congress retroactively, to January 1, 2010. In its place, the estate tax will be revived and the estate tax marital deduction once again becomes

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How Should You Own Your Life Insurance? Is An ILIT Right For You?

Besides protecting your family from financial hardship, life insurance also can be an estate-planning tool to transfer large sums to your loved ones free of estate tax and at little or no gift tax cost. This can be done using a life insurance trust. Life insurance trusts can have significant current and future use in a wide variety of individual circumstances. Life insurance proceeds are subject to estate tax if the insured owned the policy at death, or transferred it

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Roth Conversions

Prior to 2010, the income limits on both kinds of IRAs have prevented higher income taxpayers like you from making deductible contributions to traditional IRAs, or a contribution to a Roth IRA. Although you could make nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA, the tax benefits were limited (i.e., no current deduction, the tax on the IRA income is deferred rather than eliminated, and minimum distributions are required). However, for tax years beginning after December 31, 2009, a conversion from a

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Exchange an Old Annuity or Life Insurance for Long-Term Care Insurance

A new law makes the purchase of products that combine annuities or insurance policies with long-term care insurance more attractive. As ElderLawAnswers previously reported, these “hybrid” products are gaining in popularity due to a law that went into effect January 1, 2010, making distributions from life insurance and annuities tax-free when used to pay for long-term care. The same law also allows owners of annuities or life insurance policies to exchange their old policies for long-term care insurance or hybrid

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Investigative Report Questions Five-Star Rating System for Nursing Homes

How reliable are the ratings given nursing homes under the five-star rating system that the federal government recently instituted? Not very, according to an investigative report by the Massachusetts magazine Commonwealth. In an in-depth discussion of the rating system, the report highlights numerous instances in which facilities received above-average overall ratings despite being cited for serious deficiencies in care, some of which resulted in serious injuries of residents. The rating system, which was launched in December 2008 by the federal

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