Blog – “Altman Speaks”

FYI: Two IRA Tax Breaks Will End Soon


A colleague of mine sent me the below info on two tax provisions which are scheduled to expire after December 31, 2009.  Here’s how they might impact you: 1.  For 2009 only, you have the option of skipping your required minimum distribution (RMD) from traditional IRAs and certain other qualified pension plans. This suspension of the […]

Congress Has Been Silent on Estate Tax Reform


I have written previous blogs on this topic in an effort to plan and keep my clients informed of the possibilities for the future.  As we rapidly move forward to the end of the year, I thought that by now, we would have seen some discussion in congress on the estate tax law and possibly […]

Jointly Held Accounts: A Cautionary Tale


When someone dies, his executor or personal representative is responsible for preparing the decedent’s final income tax return and the decededent’s estate is liable for all income tax due.  If the executor distributes the estate without payment of the income taxes, the IRS could hold the executor personally liable for the unpaid income taxes. In […]

Past Events


“Navy Federal Event” Hosted by Kevin M. Reese, CFS, CRPC, CLTC Navy Federal Investments & Insurance Thursday, October 15, 2009 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. 8901 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 301 255 6272. “Wills, Estates and Legacy Planning” Hosted by Brian Haney, CLTC, CFS West Financial Group, Bethesda, MD bhaney@finsvcs.com Thursday, July 16 and Saturday, […]

Bad News for Seniors: No 2010 increase in Social Security


Today, the Social Security Administration announced that there will be no cost-of-living increase for 57 million Social Security beneficiaries next year because consumer prices have fallen. This announcement marks the first time that Social Security benefits have not been increased year over year since the cost-of-living adjustment was put into effect in 1975. Hoping to […]

Estate Tax Reform: On Congress’ Back Burner?


A recent article on TheHill.com, Debate Over Estate Tax Likely to Wait Until 2010″, suggests that a split among Democrats and a busy fall agenda is likely to have lawmakers hold off this year on debating the future of the estate tax, even though it is set to expire at the end of the year. […]

Advanced Medical Directives: An Estate Planning Must


A recent Wall Street Journal blog reiterated what my firm considers an estate planning must:  Take the time to create an Advanced Medical Directive.  This issue was brought into the spotlight during the unforgettable Schiavo case in which Michael Schiavo went up against his in-laws, politicians, advocacy groups, the courts, and even the government, to have his wife, […]

Recent Celebrity Deaths: What We Can Learn From Them


It is always tragic when someone dies.  In the past couple of months, well known individuals and celebrities have unexpectedly died – Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Billy Mays and Steve McNair.  It has now become known that Steve McNair did not have a Will or any sort of estate plan.  Besides his current wife and […]

Advanced Planning = Lower Estate Taxes


Currently, up to $3.5 million of an estate’s value is exempt from Federal estate tax for deaths occurring in 2009.  In 2010, the estate tax is scheduled to expire for a period of one year, returning in 2011 with a lower $1,000,000 exemption.  That is, unless Congress has anything to say about it. Estate taxes […]