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Covering the expenses of bequeathed property

I have long been a fan of Robin Williams. From the first time I saw him, in "Mork and Mindy," to his wacky comedy routines on stage, to hilarious movies like "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Good Morning,...

 

The Class Act that was anything but

What I really wanted to write about this month was the legislation making its way through Congress which would dramatically change how inherited IRAs can be taken out over time. That is what I wanted...

 

Think you're covered? Not so fast

I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say “I don’t need to do any estate planning. I have a will and it does what I want”. Oh, I wish it was that easy. A will is a good and...

 

Were you admitted as an inpatient?

Here’s an interesting question: The last time you were admitted to the hospital, were you admitted to the hospital as in inpatient? “Kirk, you’re crazy as a loon,” you might respond, “of...

 

Will you be financially secure after retirement?

Ah, retirement -- the “golden years.” Visions of fit youngish-looking seniors cavorting on a white-sands beach. Beautiful perfect-teeth smiles glowing on their faces, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and brilliant blue-green waters glistening...

 

Oh no! Another holographic will

Seated across the desk from me is the dejected widow. Arrayed around her are her children, there to give support. The mood is sad, as it always is in the days after a husband and father has died. “I...

 

Another Alaskan myth bites the dust

I recently saw the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody", which tells the story of the rock band Queen and its lead singer, Freddie Mercury. Having come of age in the ‘70s, I found it interesting enough to...

 

Put Social Security to work for you

It’s National Social Security Month and this year we’re highlighting some of the time-saving features of the “my Social Security” account. Once you create an account, you’ll see that we already have your work history and secure information...

 

Social Security questions answered by the experts

Staff from Alaska’s Social Security office will be available for questions via videoconferencing at the following locations and times in April: Kodiak Job Center, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (April 9 and 23), 9 a.m. to noon....

 

Think your way to financial comfort

Psychology has found its way into finance, and it’s a good fit. Behavioral economists design systems that nudge people into making the right decisions. For instance, workers save significantly more when the default is paycheck deductions into...

 

Another DIY estate plan gone wrong

I recently read an interesting case; it happened in British Columbia, but it could just as easily have happened in any U.S. state. The father owned his home. He put his daughter on the title as half...

 

A new thing: Supported decision-making

I’m not a big fan of the adult guardianship system. I realize it’s necessary; there are a lot of cases in which guardianship or conservatorship is absolutely needed and there isn’t a reasonable...

 

IRA? You've got some options

Very few people have to worry about estate taxes any more. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, only estates worth more than $11.4 million are subject to estate tax. However even fairly small...

 

Mortality: An ounce of preparedness

As I write these words, it has been only a few days since the recent earthquake. By the time you read these words in the Senior Voice, though, it will probably be at least a month out, and most people...

 

Investing for your conscience, and pocketbook

What’s not black and white, but green all over? Environmental, social, and governance investing, or ESG. ESG investors evaluate and invest based on corporate behavior as a predicator of future financial performance. After wading into ESG investing...

 

A jug of wine, a living trust, and thou

I’m not much of an oenophile. Occasionally I might enjoy a nice glass of wine with certain foods, but I can’t tell the difference between a Merlot and a Bordeaux. But despite my lack of...

 

How much is that probate in the window?

Sometimes when we talk about a particular subject a lot, we take it for granted that people know certain background facts. I realized this recently when I was talking about the high cost of probate...

 

Still true, forsooth, after 400 years

Ask people their favorite Shakespeare play, and chances are they will name Romeo and Juliet, or perhaps Hamlet or Macbeth. A few of the cognoscenti might name something else, but they’re just...

 

Estate planning in the Trailerhood needs help

I liked Max Gruenberg. Max was a lawyer, and a long-time legislator. I did battle with him in both venues; as a trial lawyer, when we had cases against each other; and when he was in the State House...

 

Alaska is a Filial Responsibility state? Really?

You can’t believe everything you read online. You knew that already, right? For instance, I don’t know how many times I have seen a list online, showing all the community property states, and Alas...

 

The stuff you don't get can hurt you

One of the biggest problems with DIY estate planning (where you get a kit, or a program, or a form, and “do it yourself”) is that the stuff you don’t understand can ruin everything. But then,...

 

Can a debt collector take my Social Security benefits?

Dear Savvy Senior: Can my Social Security benefits be garnished if I have some outstanding debts? I just turned 62 and would like to start collecting my retirement benefits, but want to find this out before I apply. - Worried Retiree Dear Worried:...

 

Still working? Check your tax withholdings

One great result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is that most people see money in their paychecks, because less is being withheld. Our standard deductions have nearly doubled, and the tax rates have dipped. Those are good things. But the personal and...

 

Remember to tell Social Security you've moved

If you receive Social Security and/or Medicare, make sure you inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) when you move. That’s especially important now while the SSA is mailing out new Medicare cards. Even though the Internet is a virtual...

 

Your Social Security questions answered by the experts

Staff from Alaska’s Social Security office will be available for questions via videoconferencing at the following locations and times in June: Kodiak Job Center, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (June 12 and 26), 9 a.m. to noon....

 

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