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Gift Tax: Why Giving Away $15,000 Is a Trap For the Unwary

Have you ever heard that you can give away up to $15,000 per person per year to avoid gift tax? 

Spoiler alert: the government gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

Giving away money and things is actually a lot trickier than you may realize. There are so many times when somebody will come into my office, and they'll say something to me like, "Oh, but I know that you can give away 10,000 or 11,000 or 15,000 per person per year, and It'll be okay!". However, that statement is very problematic.

First, I want to explain what gifting is in the eyes of the law. "A gift is property, money, or assets that one person gives to another while receiving nothing or less than fair market value in return." That seems pretty simple, right? Where people get confused is when they give away certain things that may not seem like gifts.

For example, let's say you want to give your car to your grandchild. You sell it to them "for $1", but according to the vehicle's market...

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Long-Term Care - What About Paying Your Own Long-Term Care Expenses?

Today we'll be taking a brief look at some aspects of long-term care. For more detailed information, it’s best to consult with a qualified legal advisor. So think of this as an introduction.

There are many complexities to long-term care planning, it’s important to understand that there are options, and programs intended to help families like yours. Long-term care planning is the best way to ensure you protect as much of your hard-earned assets as the law allows, and to receive the care you need.

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What About Paying Your Own Long-Term Care Expenses?

A. Self – Insuring

“Self-insuring,” or paying your own way, may be an option.  However, you can expect to pay approximately $88,000 per year for base nursing home care, and more for better facilities (in Southeast Michigan, generally closer to $100,000/year). Home care can be even more expensive, with 24/7 care costing in excess of $150,000 - $200,000 per year....

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