Yay! The holiday season has returned! As such, so has our annual holiday toy drive!
Forbush Legal is collecting gifts for children of all ages (0-17) to be donated to Hope and Home. Hope and Home is an organization that serves children in Colorado Springs who will spend their Christmas or holiday season in foster care, away from their families.
Toys or gifts must be unwrapped and in their original packaging. Please do not bring anything that appears to be religious as Hope and Home is not able to distribute gifts of that nature to the children.
We will be accepting toys until December 14th so that they maybe sorted and distributed to the children by Christmas day.
Last year they were lacking in gifts for teens. Here are some ideas for "teen" gifts:
Gift cards to Best Buy or Wal-Mart, Ulta or a clothing store
"Cool" t-shirts with funny sayings or comic book characters for boys
Cute tops or dresses for girls
Beanies or Ball caps
Lip glosses, make-up, nail polish
Books - youth fiction or non-fiction
Sports related items
Hope and Home will make sure that the right gifts are matched with the right kids. We need gifts for children of all ages.
Please bring your gift donation by our office anytime Monday through Friday, 8am - 5pm. (Our office closes from noon to 1pm for lunch)
Thank you for helping us create smiles for the children that need us most!
Woman was never acknowledged by Lewis, but she feels entitled to a share of his estate.
A woman who claimed she was the daughter of Jerry Lewis was never acknowledged by him. He never made an effort to see her, despite her attempt to do so in 1980. However, she may now be entitled to part of his estate, according to Page Six in "Jerry Lewis' daughter on being left out of his will."
At some point in his life, Lewis had a falling out with his sons and did not leave them anything in his will.
A woman named Susan Lewis Minoret, who shares 80% of her DNA with Lewis’ eldest son, has come forward and claimed that she is the daughter of Lewis.
Because he did not acknowledge her during his lifetime, it comes as no surprise that Suzan is not mentioned in his will. Interestingly, that might mean she is entitled to part of his estate.
Often in order to disinherit a child, that child must be mentioned by name and specifically disinherited in the will.
This is done so the court can be sure that the omission of a child was not just an accident. However, in this case, because Suzan and Lewis did not have any kind of relationship at any point during his lifetime, her rights to any of his estate is less certain.
A court may be asked to decide whether Suzan can have a portion of the estate.
The recent death of a TV personality in the U.K. highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the systems.
U.K. television personality Bruce Forsyth disliked the British system of estate and gift taxes, so he avoided the situation by leaving everything to his wife who has a full “spousal” exemption from the inheritance tax, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in "Should We Tax Gifts the British Way?" His decision means she may be able to give all Forsyth's descendants a share of the estate, without anyone ever having to pay tax on it.
The U.K. and the U.S. treat taxes on gifts and estates differently leading to his decision.
In the U.S., we have an estate tax on estates that exceed the exemption amount. Currently, that amount is $5.49 million per taxpayer (going up to $5.6 million on Jan. 1, 2018).
The estate must pay tax on the value above the exemption amount, before any assets are distributed to heirs.
The U.K. has an inheritance tax. Instead of taxing the entire estate, they tax what the heirs receive after the estate is distributed.
In the U.S., we have limits on the amount that may be gifted away before a person dies. Why? It is done so those with potentially large estates cannot avoid taxes by giving everything away while they are living.
The U.K. only taxes gifts, if they occur within seven years of the giver's death. If gifts are made within that timeframe, then the gifts are considered part of the estate and subject to the inheritance tax.
Thus, if Forsyth's wife lives for another seven years at least, then she can give everyone a large inheritance from Forsyth with no tax being owed.
An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and adheres to the laws of the U.S. and your state of residence.
Some patients may be better off being allowed to pass away peacefully and with as little pain as possible, when death becomes inevitable.
Changes in society, including a growing population of elderly and funding questions has created challenges for the hospice industry, according to Politico in "Hospice in crisis."
The hospice care industry was developed, when a need arose for patients to be able to pass away peacefully and with as little pain as possible. A hospice facility is now where many people live out their last days, with support from hospice staff and their families.
One of the biggest issues for hospice is the availability of funding.
Medicare pays facilities a per patient per diem for in-facility care and slightly less for in-home services.
That funding faces a looming crisis, as the number of elderly people continues to rise. More people will need hospice treatment.
Another thing that makes funding an issue, is that more and more people are choosing to stay at home to pass away, instead of using facilities. There is often neither the money nor the availability of trained professionals to provide proper in-home care.
In some cases, that means many people end up in even more expensive emergency rooms and hospital beds.
It is not known how the hospice industry will adapt to these challenges and how Medicare will be funded to pay for the increased spending needs that are certain to come in the future.
Once the elderly stop driving, they need a new mode of transportation and that may be ride sharing.
New companies are working toward finding a solution to the problem of the elderly needing transportation, when they no longer drive their own cars, according to Politico in "Uber, but for Grandma."
A nearby relative or friend may be regularly available and some cities, government agencies and charities offer dedicated buses or vans that can transport the elderly. However, those programs are expensive to maintain and not always available when an elderly person needs to get to an appointment.
This has left many people isolated with little choice but to call a taxi, which are not available everywhere and can be expensive.
However, Uber and Lyft are both looking at ride sharing services for ways they can step in to meet seniors' transportation needs.
While similar to taxis, these services are usually less expensive and are more readily available.
The companies will need to overcome several obstacles to be a reliable solution to the problem. The availability of vehicles that can accommodate wheelchairs is currently lacking.
Many elderly people do not have the smartphones needed to use the services or are not comfortable hailing a ride using an app.
Getting seniors transportation is an important health and financial issue for the elderly.
Minimum disbursements can be a problem but not necessarily, if you have an inherited Roth IRA.
Because a Roth IRA is subject to the current income tax when contributions are made, the money is not taxed later when it is taken out of the account. This can make inheriting a Roth IRA quite beneficial, according to Market Watch in "Want to make that inherited IRA last longer? Here's how."
If the beneficiary of the inherited Roth IRA takes out a required minimum distribution by December 31 of the account creator's death, then the account can be stretched out over time. As long as a required minimum distribution continues to be taken, the account can grow and continue to be tax free.
On the other hand, if money is not taken out by that initial December 31 deadline, then all funds must be taken out within five years of inheriting it.
When you make your decisions about what type of IRA to get, you might want to consider how it will affect your heirs.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits you unique circumstances, which may include a Roth IRA.
Disagreement between stepparents and stepchildren isn’t unusual. However, the fight over Thicke’s estate is taking interesting turns.
Alan Thicke and his widow had a prenuptial agreement that gave her certain assets upon his death.
She said publicly that she was satisfied with what she was supposed to inherit under the terms of the agreement.
However, Thicke’s sons took the unusual step of preemptively filing a motion in court claiming that their stepmother was planning to challenge the prenuptial agreement. They also said that she is threatening to share gossip with the media, if they did not let her have her way.
In the case described in the article, a policy holder passed away and the insurance company filed a case in court requesting that the court determine to whom it should pay.
The deceased had originally named his wife as the beneficiary. However, he later switched beneficiaries and named his girlfriend.
The company was not sure what to do, since there was evidence that the deceased had been impaired by a stroke when he changed beneficiaries.
MetLife requested to be allowed to exit the lawsuit it filed, since it had deposited the policy funds with the court and had no stake in whether the proceeds were awarded to the wife or the girlfriend.
The court refused to allow MetLife out of the case, because they did not follow their own policies.
The company policy is to only allow beneficiaries to be designated in writing.
However, when naming both the wife and later the girlfriend as beneficiaries, MetLife had allowed the deceased to do so by phone.
This case will get settled. However, it is unlikely that MetLife has heard the end of it. Meanwhile, until the case is settled the money will not be distributed.
Their observations include: • 401(k) plans have become too complicated for people to understand. They used to be explainable in a few minutes. There are now so many options and fees that people get confused. • People procrastinate thinking that they will always have time to save later. • People who do not get a 401(k) through an employer, often do not take advantage of their option to get individual retirement accounts. • The people who most need to save early, who are those with the least amount of income, are not the ones who are most incentivized by tax policy to use retirement accounts.