Blog – “Altman Speaks”

This Veterans Day Weekend


This Veterans Day weekend, we pay tribute to the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have fought so valiantly to keep our nation free. If you have a moment, check out this wonderful Veterans Day article written by Ray Starrman.

ABLE Savings Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities


Patterned after 529 college savings plans, ABLE savings accounts are tax-advantaged state savings plans for individuals with disabilities. They are being created as a result of the passage of the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. ABLE accounts can be used for “qualified disability expenses” – any expense related to the designated beneficiary […]

How the Proposed Tax Law Changes Will Impact Estate Law and Your Estate Planning


The newly proposed tax laws would impact estate law (and therefore estate planning) in the following ways: Basis Step-Up Stays The proposed tax bill currently keeps the “basis step-up” rule.  Under current law (and the proposed tax law), the tax basis of an asset held until death is readjusted to fair market value, permitting heirs […]

The Newly Proposed Tax Bill


Yesterday, the long awaited tax reform legislation was introduced in Congress. While there is a long way to go before anything is passed, and everything mentioned below may change, here are some provisions that may impact many individuals: You will no longer be able to deduct local or state income taxes, medicals expenses and miscellaneous deductions. […]

Estate Planning Awareness Week: October 21st-27th


This week, we are pleased to join our colleagues at NAEPC (National Association of Estate Planners and Councils) in promoting National Estate Planning Awareness Week, October 16th – 22nd. Estate planning is one of the most overlooked areas of personal financial management.  In 2008, the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC) worked with Congressional leaders […]

How to Help the Caribbean Islands: Spend Money There


The Caribbean holds a special place in the hearts of many Americans, including myself. Liz and I have enjoyed many trips to the islands, one of our favorites being St. Thomas. The devastation caused by the one, two punch of hurricanes Irma and Maria have left many Caribbean travelers unsure of how to help. Some of the […]

Tax Alert: U.S. Treasury Will Withdraw Proposed 2704 Regulations


NEWS: U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it will withdraw proposed 2704 regulations which would have curbed valuation discounts & meant higher estate taxes on the deaths of owners of family businesses. Details can be found here on the IRS website.   

Unsigned Wills and Electronic Wills Are a Recipe for Fraud and Litigation


There is a disturbing trend in certain states regarding unsigned Wills and electronic Wills. Some states, particularly New Jersey and Michigan, have now accepted an unsigned Will for probate, claiming that it was “harmless error” that caused the Will not to be signed. Other states have accepted an electronic Will for probate, claiming that a Will drafted […]

State-by-State Guide to Taxes


Kiplinger put out a state-by-state guide comparing state tax rates and rules — on income, ordinary purchases, gas, sin products, property, and more — across the U.S. The report also includes information on: The 10 Most Tax-friendly States The 10 Least Tax-friendly States (Have a Kleenex handy…Maryland is #1.) Taxes on Retirement Income by State […]

Prayers for Texas and How We Are Helping


Like you, our hearts are breaking over the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston and surrounding areas. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been impacted by the disaster. As a group, this touches us closely, as one of our employees has a parent and younger brother hunkered down on the […]