Blog – “Altman Speaks”

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 […]

Trusteed IRAs vs. Trusts as Beneficiaries – Which Strategy is Right for You?

You may have noticed a flurry of recently headlines involving “Trusteed IRAs” as many financial organizations have been promoting them as their latest and greatest IRA strategy. So, what is this new IRA trend and is it right for you? Naming IRA Beneficiaries First and foremost, it’s important to note that money in individual retirement accounts […]

The Answers to These Questions Might Change the Way You Think About Estate Planning

Estate planning is similar to the game of chess in that you need to be thinking one, two, sometimes three steps ahead. What are your answers to the questions below? Depending on your answers, you may need to create or update your existing Will and other estate planning documents. If your spouse survives you, to whom do you […]

D.C. Council Approves 2018 Budget, Estate Tax Exemption Will Increase As Planned

In 2014, the District of Columbia passed a significant tax reform bill that included gradually increasing its estate tax exemption amount of $1M to match the Federal exemption level ($5.49 million) as revenue targets were met. In 2017, the exemption doubled from $1M to $2M. On June 13, 2017, the Council voted to approve the 2018 budget which includes increasing the District’s […]