Many people think that estate plans are for someone else, not them. They may rationalize that they are too young or don’t have enough money to reap the tax benefits of a plan. But as the following list makes clear, estate planning is for everyone, regardless of age or net worth.Read More
If you are caring for your mother or father, you may be able to claim your parent as a dependent on your income taxes. This would allow you to get an exemption ($3700 in 2011) for him or her.
There are five tests to determine whether you can claim a parent as a dependent:
- The person you are claiming as a dependent must be related to you. This shouldn’t be a problem if you are claiming a parent (in-laws are also allowed). Keep in mind, however, that foster parents do not count as a relative. To claim a foster parent, he or she must live with you for a year as a member of your household.
Waiting to Plan
In my years of estate and elder planning, clients have presented at various stages of life’s unfolding: marriage, birth of grandchildren, retirement, incapacity, death. Events welcomed or feared prompt clients to seek advice and the legal tools needed to navigate the passages. I admire those who have the foresight and the discipline to undertake this. But there are many, many more of us who do not take that step.Read More