Penning Blog

Monday, October 31, 2016

Have You Funded Your Living Trust?

Once a living trust is in place, it is important to fund the trust in order minimize future risk and expense. "Funding" a trust means changing the way the person who made the trust – called a grantor – holds title to his or her assets from the grantor's name individually, to the person named as trustee of the living trust (the grantor and the trustee who administer the living trust are often the same person). Types...

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Charitable Donations from Your IRA Could Save Taxes

Congress has revived a law that lets you make charitable donations directly from your IRA that provides an opportunity for older adults to achieve significant tax advantages. The "IRA Charitable Rollover" was discontinued at the end of 2014; however, Congress has now resurrected it, made it permanent and made it retroactive to the beginning of 2015.

If you are over the age of...

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Do-It-Yourself Will

I wanted to share yet another example of how people try and create their own wills using a form taken from a book or the Internet, and wind up shooting themselves in the foot.

I recently spoke with a client whose brother, who we’ll call “Mr. Clark,” from Michigan wanted his estate to go to only two of his five children. Mr. Clark wrote a "do-it-yourself will" in which he left his pickup truck to his daughter, Samantha and his summer home to his son,...

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Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Avoid Surprises On Your Real Estate Title

I have written before about the importance of making sure your mortgage company or lender executes and records a discharge of the mortgage or other lien recorded against your real estate when originally making the loan to you. Too often, loans are paid off and forgotten until the owner seeks to obtain a further loan or sell the property, and then finds out that the previous liens securing...

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Key Elements of a Family Business Succession Plan

A family business succession plan is a multifaceted plan. When done correctly, a succession plan for the family business addresses various key issues in the business as well as at a personal level.

There are a number of critical elements you need to consider for any business plan. The following are six key areas your family business succession plan needs to address.

First, make sure you address your own personal retirement...

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