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Edward Albert Brown

Edward Brown’s Legal Guides

21 total

  • Why is Funeral Planning a good idea?

    Planning for your own death is not something that anyone enjoys thinking about. However, it is a necessary step to any well-formulated estate plan. The purpose of an estate plan it to make things as easy as possible for those you leave behind. Leave no detail for argument or inde...

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  • Capital Gains Tax

    Capital gains tax and its impact on real estate is one of the most widely-misunderstood nuances of modern tax law. Perhaps the most important concept related to capital gains tax is known as "tax basis" or "cost basis." This is the value of the property at the time you acquired i...

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  • Estate Tax Update

    Amid all the fanfare of Congress acting in the eleventh hour to stop a major income tax increase, many Americans have been left wondering what the Fiscal Cliff and the deal to avert it now means for their estates. The fear looming over the latter part of 2012 was that the Federal...

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  • Will my heirs pay taxes on my IRA?

    A Tax-qualified retirement account, such as a traditional IRA, 401(K), 403(b) or other tax-deferred account can pose a unique challenge when planning for your estate. This is because any withdrawals from the account are taxed as ordinary income. Of course, this tax-deferred treat...

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  • Beware of the Life Insurance Tax Trap

    The term discharge of indebtedness doesnt mean much to the average person. The gist of it is that if you owe a debt and that debt is forgiven you can end up owing income tax on the forgiven amount. An interesting example of this concept recently crossed my desk. Mom had purchased...

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  • A cautionary tale of DIY Estate Planning

    I recently came across another example of self-help estate planning gone drastically wrong. In this case, Mom was in her 80s and owned a family farm and a life-savings of conservative investments. She wanted her estate to be divided equally among her four children but wanted to m...

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  • Is a trust better than a survivorship strategy?

    Clients often ask me if they need a trust to avoid probate? And of course the answer is no. There are a variety of ways to avoid the hassle and expense of probate such as survivorship deeds, rights of survivorship accounts and payable on death designations. This is commonly known...

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  • Tips to Avoid Common Scams on the Elderly

    It seems the holiday shopping season starts earlier every year. Along with it comes phone calls from charities asking for your help and your mailbox becomes full of advertisements stating you won a prize. Your computer e-mail suddenly becomes full of coupons for free items if you...

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  • New Gift Tax Limit for 2013

    The IRS recently announced that the annual gift exclusion amount will increase to $14,000 per person in 2013. This means that an individual can gift up to $14,000 per person without having to file a Federal Gift Tax return. Gifting in excess of $14,000 does not necessarily mean t...

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  • Succession Planning for Your Business

    Perhaps one of the most important questions for any business owner, whether they own an international conglomerate or a corner hot dog cart is who would take over if something happened to them. However, the unfortunate truth is that many business owners do not develop an effectiv...

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