Archive For The “Finance & Insurance” Category
There are no estate taxes or succession duties in Canada. However, taxes upon death have not disappeared. When a person dies, there is a ‘deemed disposition’ of all capital property. What does that mean? It means that the government treats all your property (unless jointly held) such stocks, bonds, RRSPs, real estate, etc as sold at fair market value on the day of your death. Your estate will be required to pay capital gains tax on that property. This applies to your RRSP if you do not have a spouse to whom you can transfer it. Careful planning can reduce or defer the taxes owing. Without an estate plan, you could lose nearly half of the value of your gains to taxes. While your Executor may claim full personal exemptions on your final income tax return, your estate may end up paying taxes at the highest tax rate (over 50%). If you do not have a Will, or if your Will has not been updated recently, it may be a good time to get the job done to avoid tax complications. What is Probate? “Probate” is the recognition by the provincial court of the validity of your Will and the appointment of the person named as your Executor. Granting of the “letters probate” is notice to the public that your Will complies with the basic formal requirements and that the Will was not being challenged at the time of application. Reducing Probate Fees In some provinces, the Executor must apply to the court for “letters probate” in order to begin administering an estate. These fees are payable to the provincial government based on the value of certain assets in your estate. There have been increases over the years in provincial probate fees. There are ways to arrange your affairs to reduce these probate fees. Again, estate planning helps identify these issues and reduce any negative impact on your estate. It sounds complicated! Estate planning need not be complicated or expensive. First, who knows better than you what you want done with the things that you’ve worked all your life to build. Second, seek the professional advice of an expert to guide you on the financial and legal implications to ensure that you get the most favourable tax treatment possible. If you do not have a Will, or if your Will has not been updated recently, perhaps it is time to meet with a lawyer and get the job done. G Brent Powers Law Office 3715 Beck Rd D-401 St Joseph, MO 64506 Medicaid Asset Protection Planning in St. Joseph Mo
Many people will go out of their way to avoid talking about illness, death, and money where their aging parents are concerned. The reality is we all get older and eventually need help from others. The more prepared you are today, the easier it will be for everyone down the road. If you haven’t had these discussions with your parents it may be time to start laying the groundwork. What Important Estate Planning Documents Are Needed? A Will – Decisions regarding your assets, how your estate will be managed, custody and care of minor children are some of the terms that need to be mapped out. Do-it-yourself kits are available, but if trusts, complex estates, or large amounts of money are involved, use a lawyer to draw up the Will. Medical Care Documents – You need to appoint someone who you want to make decisions if your unable to do so. Similarly a Living Will tells doctors your wishes regarding which medical or life support procedures, you do or don’t want. How Do I Start This Estate Planning? It’s a good idea to know where your parents keep important documents. You will need to know locations for financial information, medical and life insurance policies, contact information for doctors, lawyers, and financial advisors, funeral and burial plans, real estate estate deeds, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and social security or social insurance cards. Help The Estate Planning Along Your goal should be helping your parents as much as they need and want to be helped. It can get very tricky if you overstep the boundaries – you don’t want to take away their sense of independence and hurt their dignity. As always, you’ll want to approach them with respect. And, be sensitive to their concerns and try to put yourself in their shoes – after all, you will be there someday. Checking Your Own Estate Planning Equally important as having these conversations with your parents, is doing your own estate planning and documenting your own financial and medical care preferences. Make sure that when the time comes that you are prepared for a smooth transition of your legacy, which you have prepared through your estate planning . G Brent Powers Law Office 3715 Beck Rd D-401 St Joseph, MO 64506 Medicaid Asset Protection Planning in St. Joseph Mo
Five must-ask questions (NC)-Beware of estate planners charging little or nothing to draft your estate plan. They are likely earning a commission on the investment products they recommend – which could compromise the objectivity of their advice. And note that competent estate planners should offer a holistic approach to estate planning. That is, an objective and skillful adviser provides more than investment strategies or financial planning advice. When looking for the right estate planning adviser, consider these key questions: What is your previous estate planning experience and have you worked with clients like me? Do you have in-depth knowledge of relevant legislation such as income tax law, provincial family law and probate acts? How do you set your fees? Do you sell life insurance, mutual funds or other investment products? I would like to set time lines and how can you help me meet those deadlines? Can you refer me to other professionals, as needed, such as a lawyer or an accountant? For more information, visit www.GrantThornton.ca. Grant Thornton LLP is a leading Canadian firm of chartered accountants and management consultants. G Brent Powers Law Office 3715 Beck Rd D-401 St Joseph, MO 64506 Medicaid Asset Protection Planning in St. Joseph Mo
Nodaway Valley Bank’s Look at the Last 150 Years Although the actual date is not until December, Nodaway Valley Bank will be celebrating the 150th anniversary throughout 2018. On December 4, 1868, Maryville’s first bank, known as the George S. Baker & Co., Bankers, opened its doors for business on the site of the present bank on the southwest corner of Maryville’s town square at 3rd & Main Streets. In 1873, James B. Prather, J. C. Waterman and Theodore L. Robinson acquired controlling interest in the bank and changed the name to Nodaway Valley Bank. Mr. Robinson was placed in charge of day to day operations, and a member of Robinson family has been at the helm since then, with Chairman of the Board James G. Robinson representing the fifth generation. Theodore L. Robinson was an 11 year old orphan living with his grandparents when they moved to Buchanan County in 1844. Because his grandfather was unable to work their farm, young Robinson went to work at the Mansion House in St. Joseph where his industriousness caught the attention of one of the borders, pioneer merchant John Curd, who offered young Robinson a job in his dry goods store and the opportunity to attend school. After his plans to cash in on the Gold Rush failed, Robinson reentered employment with Curd who sent him to Maryville in 1857 to set up and manage a general store. Robinson eventually bought the store and opened a lumber yard. He sold both business in order to buy an interest in the bank. During the for the first 26 years of its existence, Nodaway Valley Bank operated as a private bank until applying for a state banking charter in 1894, now the fifth oldest bank charter in the State of Missouri. The bank joined the newly formed Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1934. Although it was a relatively small bank for many years, Nodaway Valley Bank was progressively managed, being one of the first bank in the area to employ an agricultural advisor. The bank is one of the largest agricultural lenders in the region with eight experienced agricultural lenders, several of whom farm as well. Nodaway Valley Bank has weathered several economic downturns over the course of 150 years. According to Chairman Emeritus Theodore G. Robinson, the bank experienced growth during more recent agricultural downturns. Instead of acquiring troubled competing banks, Nodaway Valley Bank picked up dislocated customers from those banks which were unable to continue lending. “Nodaway Valley Bank has always focused on customer relationships,” Robinson said, “and in some cases, we would have never otherwise had the opportunity to acquire that business. It has allowed us to grow with our customers.” As a unit bank, state banking regulations prohibited Nodaway Valley Bank from expanding beyond Nodaway County until 1990, when the bank opened a branch in Savannah, followed expansion into the St. Joseph market in 1995, when the bank built a new 9,300 square foot building at the…
Nodaway Valley Bank Observes 150th Anniversary in 2018 Although the actual date is not until December, Nodaway Valley Bank will be celebrating the 150th anniversary throughout 2018. On December 4, 1868, Maryville’s first bank, known as the George S. Baker & Co., Bankers, opened its doors for business on the site of the present bank on the southwest corner of Maryville’s town square at 3rd & Main Streets. In 1873, James B. Prather, J. C. Waterman and Theodore L. Robinson acquired controlling interest in the bank and changed the name to Nodaway Valley Bank. Mr. Robinson was placed in charge of day to day operations, and a member of Robinson family has been at the helm since, with Chairman of the Board James G. Robinson representing the fifth generation. During the first 26 years of its existence Nodaway Valley Bank operated as a private bank until applying for a state banking charter in 1894, now the fifth oldest bank charter in the State of Missouri. The bank joined the newly formed Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1934. Highly restrictive banking regulations and competing interests in the tightly built business district around the Maryville town square prohibited expansion beyond the second building on the site, erected in 1890. As drive-up banking became more popular, regulations were relaxed allowing Nodaway Valley Bank to construct the first stand-alone motor bank at 2nd and Buchanan Streets in 1965. The second banking house on the original site was replaced by a larger, modern building in 1966. That structure was totally renovated and expanded again in 2000 as the present banking house. By 1971, the bank’s resources topped $15 million. State banking laws were further relaxed that year, allowing construction of branch facilities within 2.25 miles of the main banking house. Nodaway Valley opened a second facility at 1303 S. Main in 1973, which underwent a total makeover last year. Nodaway Valley Bank was also the first bank in Nodaway County to offer ATM service. Although banking regulations prohibited the bank from expanding beyond Nodaway County, Nodaway Valley Bank’s resources topped $166 million by 1990. Nodaway Valley Bank took advantage of new rules allowing additional facilities in contiguous counties by opening a facility in Savannah, followed by expansion into the St. Joseph market in 1995. During the next five years, the bank’s resources increased to $350 million. In response to customers having to take more financial responsibility for their retirement, Nodaway Valley Investment Services was formed in 2002 to provide comprehensive financial planning and brokerage services. In 2003, the bank opened a new facility at Riverside Road and Mitchell Avenue in St. Joseph and acquired Heritage Bank, creating the largest privately owned and managed bank in northwest Missouri with assets in excess of $541 million. In 2006, the bank completed construction of two new facilities in Savannah and Belt & Faraon in St. Joseph. In 2007, the Exchange Bank of Mound City was acquired, providing nine full service locations in four…
Credit Management Get Your Free Credit Report The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you FREE access to your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Although there are many TV ads, email offers, and online search results that may tout “free” credit reports, there is only one authorized source for a truly free credit report. (Source: United States Federal Trade Commission, ftc.gov) AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source for the free annual credit report that is yours by law It provides access to all the information in your credit file It also maintains a record of everyone who has checked your credit report (lenders, insurance providers, etc.) It’s a great way to identify areas of improvement, discover errors, and detect fraud This report does not include your credit score For more information or to request your free report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com Why does credit matter? There are a variety of reasons your credit history may be checked – applying for a loan, opening an account with your electric company, renting an apartment, applying for a job, and more! The purpose of checking your credit history is to gain an understanding of your behavior, including your financial behavior. You can learn more about credit by visiting Experian.com. A few things you’ll learn on this website are: The four elements of a credit report: identification, account history, public records (bankruptcy filings, court records of tax liens) and inquiries Find out what to do if you have not established a credit history Have a cosigner or authorized user added to the account Apply for a secured credit card, which requires users to put up cash as collateral How various life events impact your credit Marriage or Divorce Renting or Leasing Making a Large Purchase Financing a New Business How to prevent fraud and identity theft Improve your credit! No matter what your credit score currently is, there is always room for improvement. Although the necessary steps for improving your credit are easy, it does take time. So the sooner you start, the better off you will be! For more information visit smartcreditmatters.com, a website created by our NVB credit card provider. A few things you will learn on this site are: How credit scores are calculated Why non-credit companies look at your score How to improve your credit score Show creditors you are responsible by paying your bills on time, every time Building credit happens by using credit (wisely) Never max out your cards Pay more than just the minimum due on your card Wait to apply for additional cards if you’ve recently opened one Errors & fraud happen – catch it early by monitoring your credit report What to do if your identity (personal information) is stolen A bank with family values! We have been locally owned and managed since 1868. NVB has been serving the needs of northwest Missouri’s citizens for a century and a half. Click Here for…
Protect Against Scams Text Scams Watch for text messages that appear to be from a bank or other financial institution. You do not have to be a customer for the scam to work. The text will ask you to verify your account by either following a link or calling a phone number. The intent is for you to provide some type of personal information that can be stolen, such as a debit/ATM card PIN. For more information, visit the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Stopper website bbb.org, where you will learn things like: Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO” which confirms that your number is valid and active Forward the text to your cell phone carrier to block future texts from that number Call the bank or financial institution to verify the text is real Wire Scams Wire scams can include a variety of ploys to entice you to send money through a wire (this is the same as sending actual cash to a person). Wiring money is like giving cash, once it’s sent you cannot get it back. To protect yourself from falling prey to a wire scam, NEVER wire money to someone you don’t know, even if they claim the money is for a friend or relative that you do know. Learn more from the Federal Trade Commission by visiting consumer.gov. Scams may lead you to believe a variety of stories: You won the lottery but have to pay taxes first You inherited money but have to pay fees to receive the money A family member who is in trouble and needs you to send money You receive a check from the wrong amount and need to send the extra funds back If you believe you have fallen prey to a wire scam Call the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Notify the FTC online at ftccomplaintassistant.gov A bank with family values! We have been locally owned and managed since 1868. NVB has been serving the needs of northwest Missouri’s citizens for a century and a half. Click Here to inquire about a Free Checking Account in St. Joseph MO
Protect Your Identity Help! I think my identity has been stolen! Place a fraud alert with the credit reporting bureaus Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 Experian: 1-888-397-3742 TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 Click here to view a copy of the FTC’s Taking Charge checklist to learn what to do if you suspect identity theft Visit ftc.gov/idtheft to access the FTC’s Identity Theft Resources website Avoid ID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend. The Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov) provides useful information about various aspects of identity theft on their web site such as: What identity theft means & how it can occur How to find out if your identity was stolen What to do if your identity is stolen How to protect yourself from identity theft How to file a complaint with the FTC Visit the FTC’s Website to learn more. Protect Your Identity Identity theft can cause more headache than you may realize. In fact, it can make it hard for you to put utilities in your name, get a job, rent an apartment, and more! It’s never too late to change your habits to protect yourself from identity theft. Learn more at consumer.gov, a website sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission. Keep your financial records, Social Security and Medicare cards in a safe place Shred papers and solicitations that have your account number, personal, or medical information listed Take mail out of your mailbox as soon as you can Only give your Social Security Number if you must, ask if you can use another kind of identification Never give your financial or personal information to someone who calls or emails you Watch your bills and account statements for transactions that were not done by you Some other good resources related to Fraud and ID Theft Visit Mastercard for more information. IC3 partners with the FBI and NW3C (National White Collar Crime Center) to allow online complaint/investigation www.ic3.gov AARP Scam/Fraud page also has lots of helpful resources AARP Scam-Fraud Page Mastercard provides U.S. cardholders with services to help detect and resolve identity theft at no extra cost. Visit Mastercard for more information A bank with family values! We have been locally owned and managed since 1868. NVB has been serving the needs of northwest Missouri’s citizens for a century and a half. Click Here to inquire about a Home Loans in St. Joseph MO.
Money Basics Develop a Budget Creating a budget doesn’t have to be hard and it has many benefits! It’s an easy way to pinpoint areas where you can reduce spending and it can help build a habit of saving. Plus you can use your budget to set financial goals – whether that means building an emergency fund, saving up for a large purchase, putting money away each month for retirement, or many other goals. For an in depth look at budgeting and managing money, consider visiting the Federal Trade Commission for more information (search: Money Matters). In the meantime, here are a few easy steps to develop a budget: Write down your total monthly take-home pay List your monthly expenses Include fixed expenses such as loans, Internet access, and phone bills Include variable expenses such as gas, groceries, and electric bills Include occasional expenses such as gifts and entertainment At the end of the month, subtract those expenses from your total pay Identify areas that have room to reduce spending Use this information to set a monthly budget that includes saving Any excess funds at the end of the money can be put into your savings, emergency, or slush fund Each month review your progress and tweak as needed Protect Against Accidental Overdrafts Preventing fees incurred by overdrawing your account begins with knowing where your money is, whether you participate in our Overdraft Privilege program or not. It is important to keep track of your balance every time you write a check, swipe your debit card, or authorize an automatic withdrawal. Simply looking at your checking account balance may not reflect all of your “outstanding” items. This is because when you write a check, funds are not withdrawn from your account until the person/business deposits or cashes the check. Even when you use your debit card, funds may not be withdrawn from your account immediately if the business waits to process all transactions once a week. So how do you know where your money is if you have outstanding transactions? Set up a Overdraft Sweep When you set up an Overdraft Sweep with your account, money will automatically “sweep” or be transferred from a specified account to cover the overdraft for a fee of $10 from the credited account. A great example of this is to set up money to transfer from your savings account into your checking account in increments of $50. If you use your debit card to accidentally overdraw your checking account by $15, your “sweep” will automatically transfer $50 out of savings and into your checking account. This will bring your checking account positive by $25 after the $10 overdraft sweep fee is charged and save you from being charged an insufficient item (NSF) fee. Monitor your accounts & transfer funds by 6:00 p.m. CST We offer a variety of ways to monitor your accounts 24/7. Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and Telebank all provide you the ability to check your balance and transfer funds anytime, anywhere….