Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Estate Planning Awareness Week 2018

Each year we celebrate National Estate Planning Awareness Week to help spread attention and aware ness of the importance of estate planning.

Do you have all your ducks in a row?

Estate planning is not about how much money or property you have. It is actually about how much you care for your family. Doing a proper estate plan is a reflection of the legacy you leave, how you will be remembered and whether you helped your family achieve success, not monetarily but in life.

Help celebrate National Estate Planning Awareness Week by making sure your ducks are in a row and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

Bernie Greenberg

Friday, September 14, 2018

Trusts Equal Protection

As an estate planning attorney I am asked every day about trusts. Why should I use a trust? What is a trust? What do trusts do? Are trusts about trust?

All these questions are interesting as are the answers. However neither the question nor answer get to the essence of why we use trusts and their ultimate purpose--protection.

Trusts are used to protect someone or something (property) from someone or something (taxes). As examples think about protecting these folks:

1. Your spouse.
2. Your kids.
3. An elderly loved one.
4. Someone at risk.
5. Someone with a disability.

Things we might protect against include:

1. Poor money management.
2. Creditors.
3. Predators.
4. Taxes.
5. Addictive behavior or drug addiction.

So when you ask a question about whether a trust might fit into your planning ask if there is someone you want to protect, something you want to protect and what risks you want to protect against.

Bernie Greenberg

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

3 Steps to Protect Yourself from Tax Scams

Today is that day, tax day when, if you haven't already, it's time to get your taxes or extension files and taxes paid. Tax day always brings some stress, some angst and the scammers. Con artists constantly look for new ways into your wallet and accounts. Your job is to be ever vigilent and protect yourself.

1. The IRS does not call on the phone or email ANYONE!

This is an old trick used by con artists--imitating people you are already afraid of--like the taxman. Be aware that the IRS does not call, text or email. Also, if you take a call, all IRS personnel must identify themselves by name and identification number. Scammers will not.

2. The IRS and states do not contact you via social media or text.

As tempting as it might be to respond bear in mind that you are receiving a message from a con artist and not from the IRS. Your best course of action is to use your delete key.

3. Do not post your financial information online or on ANY social media site.

Does this require explanation? No. Just don't do it. Ever.

The only person who can prevent a con artist from scamming you is you. Always apply these 3 simple steps as your first line of defense. For further information refer to articles and FAQ sections of the IRS, State of Colorado and Colorado Attorney General's websites.