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Ask Liza: Everyday Estate Planning

  • Taxes and Beneficiaries: Estate, Income and Capital Gains

    Taxes and Beneficiaries: Estate, Income and Capital Gains

    Dear Liza: My aunt died recently, leaving her estate to me and my four siblings, in equal shares. She owned stocks and bonds, and some farmland in Iowa. Will I have to pay taxes on my share of the distributions? That’s such a good question! You are…
    - 10 Jan 18, 11:09pm -
  • Who Gets the Life Insurance and How?

    Who Gets the Life Insurance and How?

    Dear Liza: My mother passed away recently and had everything, including her checking, savings, etc., in a living trust.  But one of her other insurance policies had my deceased father listed as beneficiary.  The insurance company is telling me the…
    - 5 Dec 17, 12:37pm -
  • Reducing Capital Gains: Step-up in Basis, The Basics

    Reducing Capital Gains: Step-up in Basis, The Basics

    Dear Liza: My parents a house in 1995. They put the house in a trust in 1998 with me and my 2 brothers as beneficiaries. My dad passed away in 2007 and my mom in 2015. The house is now for sale . I’m not sure what the tax basis should be. That is…
    - 10 Sep 17, 8:57pm -
  • We refinanced. Did our house get taken out of the trust?

    We refinanced. Did our house get taken out of the trust?

    Dear Liza:  We are a married couple in our 40s with 2 kids with a living trust. Our primary residence is a part of the trust. We refinanced our primary residence a couple of months ago. We are not sure whether our house was pulled out of the tru…
    - 23 May 17, 8:47pm -
  • Why Does Met Life Need to Transfer an Annuity to the Estate?

    Why Does Met Life Need to Transfer an Annuity to the Estate?

    Dear Liza:  My father recently died.  My dad had a trust set up naming me as the trustee and my brother, sister, and I are to split my dad’s assets evenly.  I have set up a trust account at his bank (B of A) and have funneled funds into that tru…
    - 3 May 17, 12:38pm -
  • My Aunt Left Me a House, is Probate Required?

    My Aunt Left Me a House, is Probate Required?

    Dear Liza: My relative passed away and I am the only surviving close relative.  She left a will that listed me as the beneficiary of her real property.  Her only assets were a small house tax value, $37,500 and 2 joint bank accounts totaling $20,0…
    - 7 Dec 16, 6:18pm -
  • Do I Need a Tax Identification Number for a Trust After My Mom’s Death?

    Do I Need a Tax Identification Number for a Trust After My Mom’s Death?

    Dear Liza:  I’m an executor of a trust and was added as co-trustee on the trust while my mom was alive.  She is now at peace with dad. Can I now just distribute the funds per the trust without changing the trust first to an irrevocable trust and…
    - 23 Nov 16, 12:02pm -
  • Can I Put My House Into a Living Trust if There’s a Mortgage?

    Can I Put My House Into a Living Trust if There’s a Mortgage?

    Dear Liza: Can real estate that still has a mortgage on it be placed in a trust? Yes, you can place real property with a mortgage into a revocable living trust. That is, in fact, quite common. Most people, after all, don’t own their houses free an…
    - 20 Oct 16, 12:10am -
  • What Kind of Tax ID Do I Need for a Trust?
    Dear Liza: My parents both have recently passed away. They had a revocable trust.  What type if tax ID do I need?  I created one for the “Estate” type, but should I have made it for the “Trust” type? I am the trustee.  Getting a new tax id…
    - 18 Sep 16, 10:29pm -
  • Annual Gifts: $14,000 each to as many people as you’d like
    Dear Liza: If my mom gifts $14,000 to me and my 5 children and does this by writing each individual separate checks for $14,000 which are then deposited in each separate child’s account, will it also be deemed a gift to me if I am a joint owner? P…
    - 11 Sep 16, 10:27pm -

Bankrate: Frugal U

Simple Family Finance

  • Do Kids Really Cost $500,000? Raising a Child on a Budget

    Do Kids Really Cost $500,000? Raising a Child on a Budget

    Kids are expensive.  If you're a parent, I'm probably not telling anything you didn't already know.  But, the most recent statistics say that a single child can cost up to $500,000 to raise until the age of 18.  Yikes!Let's take a look at where…
    - 22 Apr 14, 6:30am -
  • 4 Deliciously Inexpensive Fall Recipes For You To Enjoy

    4 Deliciously Inexpensive Fall Recipes For You To Enjoy

    There are plenty of good reasons to love Fall, but its food has to be near the top of the list.  Tis the season for sales on apples, pumpkins, and plenty of squash.  As the weather turns brisk, soups begin to make a comeback, and warm, homemade bre…
    - 3 Oct 13, 8:45am -
  • The Pros and Cons of 4 Super-Duper Cheap Home Phone Plans

    The Pros and Cons of 4 Super-Duper Cheap Home Phone Plans

    In the last article we looked at cheap cell phone plans, but that's only half of the equation. Home phone service gets cheaper every year due to advances in technology. The internet has paved the way for nearly free phone service. We're going to take…
    - 5 Jun 13, 5:25am -
  • The Cheapest Cell Phone Plans for Every Type of Person

    The Cheapest Cell Phone Plans for Every Type of Person

    If you're like most of the civilized world, you have a cell phone and it's costing you a bundle. My wife and I have a cell phone that we pay $3.33/month for, but we only get 200 minutes for a 3 month period. For some people, that's enough. For others…
    - 2 May 13, 5:30am -
  • Why is my Electric Bill So High? 7 Ways to Save Electricity

    Why is my Electric Bill So High? 7 Ways to Save Electricity

    Saving money on your electric bill doesn't have to mean living in the dark. There are plenty of ways to slash your next bill without becoming Amish. We're going to look at 7 of the most effective methods and also determine whether unplugging applia…
    - 14 Mar 13, 5:30am -
  • Are LED and CFL bulbs worth the money? Don’t be left in the dark

    Are LED and CFL bulbs worth the money? Don’t be left in the dark

    As the president of the old fashioned light bulb fan club, I've always stuck my nose in the air and my fingers in my ears when people mentioned CFL and LED bulbs. But, recently, when I felt like my electric bill was getting out of hand, I decided to…
    - 21 Feb 13, 5:30am -
  • 23 Frugal Date Ideas Your Special Someone Will Love

    23 Frugal Date Ideas Your Special Someone Will Love

    Whether you're just starting to date, but can't rub two nickels together, or your spouse of 20 years is begging you for something other than Wheel of Fortune every night, I've come up with 23 frugal date ideas that your special someone will love. Va…
    - 23 Jan 13, 5:30am -
  • My 2012 Expenses Revealed! Every Penny Is Accounted For

    My 2012 Expenses Revealed! Every Penny Is Accounted For

    Here's a chance to peek behind the curtain. I'm revealing my expenses for 2012 in order to be as transparent as possible with my Simple Family Finance family, so come take a look at where my money ends up. simplefamilyfinance.com
    - 10 Jan 13, 5:30am -
  • The Absolute Simplest Trick to Improve Your Finances in 2013

    The Absolute Simplest Trick to Improve Your Finances in 2013

    There are plenty of ways to make or save money, but there's one that's easier than any other. If you're looking for a simple way to improve your financial outlook this year, look no further.simplefamilyfinance.com
    - 4 Jan 13, 5:30am -
  • 14 Ways to Simplify Christmas and Enjoy the Holidays

    14 Ways to Simplify Christmas and Enjoy the Holidays

    I LOVE Christmas. However, for every moment of joy it brings, 2 moments of stress and furstration often follow. So, what happened? I think Christmas has become too complicated...to convoluted. And I know I'm not the only one. So, here are 14 way…
    - 13 Dec 12, 5:30am -

The Family CEO

  • Our Travel Rewards Strategy: Brand Loyalty

    Our Travel Rewards Strategy: Brand Loyalty

    Note: This post contains my affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information. Our travel schedule has looked pretty much the same every year for a while now. Generally, Tom’s work (he’s in sales) earns us a trip or sometimes…
    - 98 days ago, 13 Jun 18, 7:09pm -
  • Why (and How) I Track Every Dollar We Spend

    Why (and How) I Track Every Dollar We Spend

    For the last 25+ years, I have tracked every dollar we spend (and every dollar we earn) in Quicken. Oh, and I enter every transaction manually. Doing this is so second nature that I don’t think I’ve ever written in depth about it here, even thoug…
    - 29 May 18, 11:13am -
  • A Family CEO Life Update

    A Family CEO Life Update

    Things are in transition at our house again. Next week our son Grant graduates from St. Louis University and he’s moving to New York City, where he’ll start his new job in public relations on June 4. It seems like last month – no last week –…
    - 12 May 18, 4:17pm -
  • One Year of Found Money: $4297.37

    One Year of Found Money: $4297.37

    Would you like to know what one year of Found Money looks like? It’s been a year since I wrote a report like this and I’ll admit I was curious, so I pulled out the calculator and did some totaling. First, a couple of notes: If you’re new to Fou…
    - 1 May 18, 8:29am -
  • Found Money Report for April

    Found Money Report for April

    Happy Memorial Day weekend! I hope this post finds you relaxing with family and friends. This is one of my regular Found Money Reports, this time covering the month of April, 2017. You can find more info on what Found Money is and how I use it here.…
    - 27 May 17, 11:33am -
  • Found Money Report for March 2017: $1998

    Found Money Report for March 2017: $1998

    One of the most powerful strategies I’ve run across as a Family CEO is using found money to pay of debt and build savings. You can read about it here. I write these reports to let you know where we’ve found money, hopefully to inspire you to do t…
    - 3 Apr 17, 8:00am -
  • My Investing To-Do List

    My Investing To-Do List

    One of the benefits of writing a personal finance blog is that it keeps you focused. Since I returned to The Family CEO earlier this month I’ve had personal finance on the brain in a way I haven’t for a while, and one of the things that has come…
    - 31 Mar 17, 1:18pm -
  • $7689 in Found Money: April 2015 – February 2017

    $7689 in Found Money: April 2015 – February 2017

    When I made the decision to start blogging here at The Family CEO again, I knew that found money would be a big focus. It’s such a little thing to do – capturing any amount of money that isn’t part of your main income stream(s) and giving it a…
    - 6 Mar 17, 7:00am -
  • Hello Again

    Hello Again

    Tap, tap, tap…is this thing on? Is anyone still out there? It’s been nearly two years since I’ve written at The Family CEO, but recently I’ve felt compelled to check back in. When we last spoke, I told you that our family’s finances were o…
    - 4 Mar 17, 4:10pm -
  • Teaching High School Students About Money

    Teaching High School Students About Money

    So this is cool. H&R Block, the tax services provider, believes that mastering financial matters is an important adult life skill, but that teenagers aren’t being prepared for the challenge. So the company developed a teen financial literacy progra…
    - 10 May 15, 1:10pm -

The Family Finances

    The Guardian: Child Trust Fund

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    The Guardian: Family Finances

    WSJ: Family Finance

    In The Lights

    About PopMuse

    A curated aggregation of musings from across the land and of different subject matters for the scanoholics.