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When Is Privacy Legitimate?

As part of the Treasury Department’s battle against money laundering, stricter disclosure requirements are at hand for beneficiaries of bank and financial accounts. Regulators have pulled back from the most onerous proposals, which would compel banks themselves...

Asset Protection For Lawsuit Risks

Protecting your personal and business assets against liability risks and lawsuits has two key parts:  setting up the proper legal structures that insulate assets from liability claims (as permitted by law) and taking steps to discourage lawsuits based on a “Deep...

New Taxes May Hit Californians Hard

California is hoping its wealthiest residents will turn its budget black — and keep it there. The Golden State gets six out of every ten dollars of revenue from income tax, and thanks to a November ballot measure pushed by Governor Jerry Brown, it’s going...

How Data is Searched to Find What You Own

Before the Internet, separate bits and pieces of information about your life were scattered in dusty file drawers and county records around the country. Your birth certificate, driving records, insurance file, marriage licenses, and loan applications were maintained...

Loser Pays – How To Avoid Frivolous Lawsuits

The Affordable Care Act is slowly being implemented but the issue of litigation and tort reform has not been solved by this legislation. While there’s not much debate among health care providers that the direct and indirect costs of litigation and the threat of...

Grantor Trusts to Avoid New Tax Hikes

The new year tax hikes hit some trusts with substantial tax increases that must be accounted for in your planning. The top marginal rate increases from 35% to 39.6%. Capital gains taxes  increase from 15% to 20%. This applies to individuals who make over $400,000...

New Law Impacts Estate Planning For Married Couples

As of January 1, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act permanently set the estate and gift tax exemption at $5 million (and with inflation increases to $5.25 million). The tax rate for anything above that is 40 percent. As an additional benefit, for deaths that have...

Protecting Assets From Medical Expense Risks

In a scramble to raise health insurance rates before the price restrictions of the Affordable Care Act health insurance companies are raising premiums by double digits for some customers. Aetna has proposed a 22 percent raise and Blue Shield a 26 percent raise,...

Swiss Bank Accounts to Avoid Taxes? Don’t Bet on It!

Switzerland’s oldest bank, Wegelin & Company, did not get off to a good start in 2013. Representatives from the bank admitted in U.S. District Court to helping U.S customers avoid taxes by hiding over $1.2 billion in (supposedly) secret Swiss accounts. In...