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Ask Liza: Everyday Estate Planning

  • 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…
    - 73 days ago, 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 -
  • Trust Tax ID Numbers and Other Basics of Trust Administration
      Dear Liza: My mother recently died and I am the Trustee of her trust. She left everything to me and my brother, equally.  I live far away from California, where she lived. My brother lives in her house. The bank told me that I need to get a tax i…
    - 14 Aug 16, 10:56pm -
  • Beneficiary Designations Are the Last Word
    Dear Liza: My Stepmother had a pension, my father was the beneficiary after she died. He made me beneficiary after his death. After he died, I received the pension. Now my stepmother’s sister wants it. She is not a beneficiary. Is she entitled to…
    - 10 Aug 16, 12:52pm -

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

  • 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 -
  • That’s a Wrap

    That’s a Wrap

    Last week I started a conversation with Tom this way: “I need to talk to you about something, and it’s going to sound familiar.” If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, it’s going to sound familiar to you too. The something I neede…
    - 20 May 15, 5:17pm -
  • 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 -
  • A Family CEO Job Description

    A Family CEO Job Description

    This blog began over nine years ago when I hired myself to make over my family’s finances. My theory was that if I treated our finances like a job, I could make as big of an impact as the real-life, outside the home, part-time job I was consider…
    - 5 May 15, 11:33am -
  • Found Money Update: Jan – Mar 2015

    Found Money Update: Jan – Mar 2015

    It’s time for another Found Money Update, and I’m making a change in the way I’m reporting things. Specifically, I’ll no longer be including my income from bookkeeping and blogging. Here’s why: I’ve had a couple of readers tell me that t…
    - 3 Apr 15, 10:55am -
  • 6 Ways to Spend a Tax Refund that You Will Thank Yourself for Later

    6 Ways to Spend a Tax Refund that You Will Thank Yourself for Later

    “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” Are you getting a tax refund this year? It’s very unusual for us to get one because we’re self-employed; any refunds get applied to next year’s taxes. But this year, through a…
    - 31 Mar 15, 5:37pm -

The Family Finances

    The Guardian: Child Trust Fund

    • Junior Isas offer a better deal than child trust funds – switching is child’s play
      From 6 April it will be possible to escape an underperforming child trust fund, and it’s well worth your time to do soEaster Monday isn’t just “pensions freedom day” - it’s also when many of Britain’s youngest savers will be freed from th…
      - 4 Apr 15, 2:00am -
    • The countdown is on: move your child’s savings into an Isa | Melanie Wright
      More than half the parents whose children are eligible for Junior Isas don’t know that they will soon be allowed to transfer the money out of child trust fundsMillions of parents with savings in child trust funds (CTFs) will finally be able to move…
      - 23 Feb 15, 2:00am -
    • Bank of gran and granddad steps in as parents unable to provide financial help
      Report says one in six grandparents give cash because their grandchildren's parents can't afford to do the sameGrandparents have long been treasured for their contribution to pocket money and the sweetie jar – but the extent of the reliance on thei…
      - 20 Jun 14, 7:01am -
    • Child trust fund cash can be transferred to junior Isas, says Treasury
      Rule change from April 2015 covers six million more children's CTS accounts, allowing holders to benefit from better returnsMoney held in child trust fund accounts for more than six million children can be moved into junior Isas in future, after the…
      - 29 Dec 13, 2:00am -
    • Saving for children: where to do it and how to encourage them
      Even in today's tough times, parents are finding money to invest for their children's future. We look at the options with the best returnsTelling a young child that you are saving a pot of money which they will not be able to access until they are 18…
      - 28 Jul 13, 2:00am -
    • Move to allow transfer of child trust fund money into Isas
      Government recommends current rules be relaxed so that parents can opt to transfer the £4.8bn now held in CTFsParents who hold investments in child trust funds will be able to move the money into junior Isas to chase better returns for their childre…
      - 14 May 13, 12:19pm -
    • Child trust fund savers may soon be able to shift money into junior Isas
      Government confirms it will launch consultation on transferring savings between accountsParents with savings for their children locked into poor-paying child trust funds (CTFs) could soon have a more attractive option to consider. They may be able to…
      - 20 Mar 13, 3:15pm -
    • Hope for child trust fund savers as Osborne signals transfer to Junior Isas
      Budget 2013 report promises to look into changing system that has trapped families in poor-paying child trust fundsFamilies with child trust funds may soon be able to move the cash to Junior Isas after the government confirmed it would launch a consu…
      - 20 Mar 13, 10:34am -
    • How your Child Trust Fund could be wiped out by new charges
      Foreign and Colonial has imposed a £30 annual fee on its Child Trust Funds, with other players expected to followIs this another nail in the coffin for child trust funds? It emerged this week that thousands of children with CTF share accounts run by…
      - 16 Feb 13, 2:30am -
    • Junior Isas and CTFs: time to move your money
      It's in your interest to play the child savings ratings gameInterest rates on cash child trust funds and junior Isas vary hugely, so if your offspring has one, check what it is earning and be prepared to move your money if it's giving a rubbish retur…
      - 16 Feb 13, 2:03am -
    Emergency Comeback
    Emergency Comeback
    Emergency Comeback
    Emergency Comeback

    The Guardian: Family Finances

    • newHigher rate UK taxpayers gain most in budget changes
      Rise in personal tax allowance benefits higher ratepayers by £340 a year with basic rate band £70 better off and universal credit recipients better by just 50p per week Higher rate taxpayers will be £340 a year better off after budget changes to i…
      - 1 hour ago, 23 Nov 17, 1:00am -
    • newWhat the 2017 autumn budget means for you
      We’ve looked at the figures to see how Philip Hammond’s autumn budget will affect your finances – whether you’re single, married, with or without children or retired.All figures supplied by KPMG, StepChange Debt Charity and Turquoise Training…
      - 12 hours ago, 22 Nov 17, 1:58pm -
    • newCamelot mulls £10k-a-month-for life lottery prize to attract young
      UK national lottery operator considers shift in focus to entice younger generation wanting to get on to housing ladder The national lottery operator, Camelot, is considering introducing a prize of up to £10,000 a month for life in the hope of entici…
      - 22 hours ago, 22 Nov 17, 4:19am -
    • British Gas owner scraps controversial standard variable tariff
      Centrica becomes third of big six suppliers to end SVT for new customers, with rivals expected to follow suit British Gas owner Centrica is to scrap its widely criticised standard variable tariff (SVT) for new customers from April, and other energy c…
      - 3 days ago, 20 Nov 17, 6:45am -
    • Should the proceeds of a property sale be used to pay for care home care?
      My parents-in-law might move nearer us, but one of them requires nursing home care and we don’t know the rules around paying for itQ My parents-in-law live in a town about 50 minutes away from my husband and I. My father-in-law requires nursing car…
      - 3 days ago, 20 Nov 17, 6:30am -
    • Autumn budget 2017: a sneak peek inside the chancellor’s red box …
      A cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers? Lower student loan interest rates? Out with the winter fuel allowance? We look at next week’s likely announcementsDon’t expect much in the way of fireworks when the chancellor reveals his second budget o…
      - 5 days ago, 18 Nov 17, 2:00am -
    • Is paying to attend a birthday party now normal?

      - 5 days ago, 18 Nov 17, 2:00am -
    • Older people face paying £34,000 a year to go into a care home
      With the average price of residential care increasing at its fastest rate ever in 2016, we face a ‘prolonged crisis’ in provisionThe cost of being in a UK care home rose at its fastest rate last year and is now an average of £33,904 a year – u…
      - 5 days ago, 18 Nov 17, 2:00am -
    • Household finances under strain as Nationwide warns of tough times ahead
      Building society warns ‘sluggish’ economy, Brexit uncertainty, weak wage increases and rising inflation are hurting customers’ financesHousehold finances are under worsening pressure, according to Nationwide building society, which reported a f…
      - 6 days ago, 17 Nov 17, 8:57am -
    • Six-week wait for universal credit set to be reduced
      Government preparing to trim wait for new benefit after Tory backbenchers raised concerns about impact on constituentsThe government is preparing to confirm that it will cut the six-week waiting time for universal credit, caving in to Conservative ba…
      - 8 days ago, 15 Nov 17, 6:28am -

    WSJ: Family Finance

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