The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act) passed into law effective January 1, 2020.   Although it is uncertain how the act was named, it is certain that this act will significantly impact estate, tax and income planning for baby boomers and their children.   This act will force Americans with IRAs and other “qualified assets” to recognize more income, upon inheritance.

For years, the IRS allowed beneficiaries of an individual retirement account (IRA) to defer their receipt of income over their individual lifetimes through the use of the stretch distribution provision.   This is no longer possible as the act changes the way in which a beneficiary can elect to receive his or her own share of a decedent’s account: either as a lump sum distribution or as a ten (10) year plan of distribution.   The inherited “stretch” IRA is no longer an option after January 1, 2020.  As a result, the government will begin to receive more taxes from inherited income beginning 2020 moving forward.

The act does provide some relief as it puts off the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) until the age of 72, if you have yet to begin receiving your RMDs prior to 2020.   It also repeals the maximum age of which a person can contribute to his or her IRA; allows for expansion of 529 plans; and, provides credits to small businesses that setup automatic enrollment into their retirement plans.

A year into the “new VA regulations” it is clear that planning for VA benefits is still a viable longterm care planning strategy.   On October 18, 2018 as part of a comprehensive plan to help reorganize the Department of Veterans Affairs and benefit programs themselves, the VA finally adopted new regulations affecting the non-service related improved compensation benefit program or as we refer to it, A&A (aid and attendance).

Among the changes:

  • A three (3) lookback period.

If your parents are at the age when illnesses and medical conditions are a concern, you will have worries about the costs of long-term care. One of the biggest problems confronting senior citizens today is the extraordinary cost of this care. Such costs can exceed one’s entire lifetime savings. When proceeds come to an end, the only option may be to apply for Medicaid.

However, while Medicaid does pay the costs of long-term care, eligibility is complex. One of the eligibility requirements is that the amount of assets your parents can own individually and jointly is extremely limited.

“Look-back” period

The Jenna Kast Believe in Miracles Foundation is an all volunteer, grass roots organization whose goal is to bring a smile to the face of a child that is suffering. The mission of The Jenna Kast Believe in Miracles Foundation is to enrich the lives of Michigan children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions by buying gifts and bringing joy and hope to their lives. Along with their gift, each child receives a personalized trophy to acknowledge their courageous fight.

This is a wonderful organization and our firm is proud and privileged to be a sponsor and a part of helping achieve its mission.

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Learn more about this great organization by visiting their website at www.believeinmiracles.org

You may be over at a friend’s house when, out of nowhere, an otherwise friendly dog bites you. Over 4.5 million Americans receive dog bites each year, shares the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. While a decent amount are superficial wounds that do not require any medical attention, plenty of people need to go to the emergency room to address the wound. 

You are put between a rock and a hard place when a friend’s dog bites you. You want compensation for your injury, but you also do not want to damage the friendship. During this time, the most important thing is your health, and you should take the following steps after suffering a dog bite. 

Get medical attention

Some car accident victims suffer from evident pain immediately after a car accident, such as a broken bone or back injury. Others, however, may not experience the pain right away. Some people may think that their pain is not severe and will go away on its own.

There is no question that it would be in your best interest to see a doctor after a motor vehicle accident. You may not immediately experience pain, but that does not mean that you have not suffered an injury, or that you will face one down the road. Clients have frequently stated that immediately after an accident they were not in pain and that the pain came days, or even weeks, later.

Being a victim of a car accident can be a very scary and confusing time. Many people are unsure of the steps they need to take to ensure they receive benefits they are entitled to. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a car accident, call SMDA Law today to schedule your free consultation. It is important to know and understand your rights.

Even though bankruptcy discharges your personal obligation to pay a secured debt, the lien on your property will remain.

Any amount of a debt that is secured by property, will remain. Any amount that is not secured by the property, will be discharged. For example, if you your purchased a tv on credit, if you default on your payment the creditor has the right to the collateral (the tv). If the value of the tv is less than the amount you owe, the remaining amount will be discharged.

For more information regarding liens and Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact our office at (586) 264-3756.

We handle numerous probate and trust administration cases, where siblings do not get along. It is better to work through issues with your siblings, prior to your parents’ passing away, as there is less stress and emotion.

There are several questions to ask your adult siblings, which may help repair and strengthen your relationships.

1.) What can I do to help us grow closer? This question opens the door to issues that you may not know exist. It may give your sibling the ability to finally open up about something that is bother them, and in turn, the ability to work through the issue.

Do I qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? One of the main factors in determining whether or not an individual qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is whether your household income is under the median family income amount.

For cases filed on or after November 1, 2017 in Michigan, the following are the median incomes by family size:

1 earner: $48,626

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