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Neal Bartlett

How to Minimize the (Voluntary) Federal Estate Tax

Surprising to most people, the federal estate tax is a voluntary tax. Estate planning attorneys used to say, “You only pay if you don’t plan.” Now, portability of the federal estate tax exclusion provides both an alternative and a back-up plan to lifetime tax planning. This means you might be able to minimize or even eliminate federal estate taxes even if you didn’t plan.
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Neal Bartlett

Estate Planning Strategies to Protect Your Spouse

You have searched for and found the love of your life, maybe your first love, or maybe after a previous marriage. As you have built your life together, you have probably weathered your fair share of storms and grown stronger because of them. To prepare for the future and the possibility of no longer being around for your spouse, it is important that you plan now to protect the surviving spouse later. As part of a married couple, you are uniquely situated to further protect your loved one upon your passing through the use of special planning techniques only available to married individuals.
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Neal Bartlett

Which Distribution Method is Best? Showing Your Children the Love

If you are a parent, you probably love to do good things for your children—and leaving them an inheritance is one of the most tangible ways you can show your love once you are gone. What you may not know is that there are a variety of ways that you can leave money and property to your children, and you can choose the method you think best takes your goals, including their wellbeing, into account.
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Neal Bartlett

Your Divorce Decree: The First Step in Estate Planning

You have recently divorced your spouse and the judge has signed the divorce decree. Now what? Although you may feel as though you have spent enough time and money on lawyers, there is one last attorney you need to talk to: an estate planning attorney.
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Neal Bartlett

American Heart Month: Who Should Be My Medical Agent?

February has been celebrated as American Heart Month since 1963 in an effort to urge Americans to join the fight against heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women. It is also a great opportunity to consider who is the best person to act as your medical agent if you are stricken by a heart attack (or develop any other ailment) and are unable to make your own decisions about your health care or can’t communicate your wishes.
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