Tag Archives: estate planning Washington DC

Plan on Estate Planning in 2020

Next year is almost here. In just a few weeks, 2020 will arrive. Are you ready?

Yes, it is an election year. It is a leap year. It is a new year to plan and move ahead with those plans. 

Should it also be your “Estate Planning Year”? Yes. As hard as it may be to think about, let alone talk about dying and what happens with all our stuff when that happens… it is a fact of life. 

So, while we have covered the topic of estate planning in other blogs, it is a subject that is worth revisiting. As this year winds down, you can act now to plan for your estate and help protect your family and loved ones. 

As you sit down with your trusted financial and estate planning advisor, keep these five points in mind:

  1. Life Insurance: There was a popular radio commercial about life insurance many years ago that said “Life insurance isn’t for the deceased. It’s for the living!” It seemed like a trite, non-sensical statement but it is so true. Life insurance is primarily used to protect a loved one from loss of income when the spouse or family member dies. Life insurance is a tax-free income that the beneficiary may use for income and expenses. If you’re not sure where to begin with life insurance policies, go to www.consumersadvocate.org/life-insurance/ for the latest reviews.      
  2. Beneficiary Designations: Life insurance, 401(k)s, IRAs and personal property all will be owned by someone upon the owner’s death. So, designate beneficiaries for all of these items. Review and update those beneficiaries every few years. Backup beneficiaries can also be named should the first beneficiary pass away.
  3. Charitable giving: Non-profit organizations receive billions of dollars each year from the generous giving of estates. Legacy giving is popular for churches, temples, alma maters, non-profits, civic groups and other legally designated 501 ( c ) 3  organizations. You can also discuss with your financial advisor the advantages of setting up a CRAT (Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust). 
  4. Form a Trust: Discuss with your estate planning advisor revocable or irrevocable trusts. Discuss your wants and needs and find out if one of these options matches your goals for estate planning.                             
  5. Reduce debt load: Pay off your debts! It is that simple. Your estate may end up paying those debts off which means leaving less for your heirs. Begin now at paying off credit cards, liens, and loans. 

Why work on estate planning now when there’s always tomorrow? It’s a lot of work! Truth is, making an appointment to start the estate planning process, making a plan, and then working towards that plan will set you and your family up for success! Don’t wait, act now. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has an experienced estate planning advisor and attorney on our staff who can help you do it all. We can begin now and take you through the entire process, professionally and compassionately. Contact us at (301) 365-1974 to schedule a consultation. Our accounting firm serves the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County, Maryland areas.    

Ask your Financial Advisor: Is an LLC the Right Fit for my Small Business?

Fall is here. Leaves are falling. Pumpkins are out. Halloween Costumes are on sale. Bags of candy are available. Coffee shops are offering pumpkin spice latte’.  

What a great time to get an LLC for your business!

Okay, maybe there is no correlation with fall. But, it’s still a great time of year to set up and LLC. Let me explain: Tax Year 2018 ends December 31, so there is still time to get it done and affect your tax returns for good, perhaps.  

small business LLC AK Burton PC

First, let’s explain what an “LLC” is: An LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), according to www.Chron.com, is “owner’s liability protection against company actions and debt similar to a corporation. However, a LLC’s management can be set up as a corporation or partnership for management flexibility and taxation purposes.”

Second, the benefits of having your small business LLC designation are quite attractive:

  1. Have your taxes withheld throughout the year: Instead of having to pay a lump sum at tax time or installments throughout the year, you can have your taxes withheld throughout the year. An LLC gives you the option to have a “Flow-through Entity” meaning you become an employee of your company and pay taxes from each paycheck.     
  2. A “One-person LLC Form”: Your business is taxed as a sole proprietorship. This adds limited personal liability exposure but keeps crucial tax benefits such as the owner compensation with “distributions of profit” taxed at the individual owner’s lower marginal tax bracket (tax rate applicable to the next dollar of taxable income earned); and pass-through of business losses to the owner.
  3. Estate Planning: An LLC can also be placed in a Living Trust. This can be complex so consult with your tax attorney.
  4. Less paperwork: An LLC is less time-consuming once you have completed the forms and filed them. The money will be taken out of payroll. Fewer headaches and less paperwork means you can tend to your business.

If you decide that an LLC is the best move for your small business, you can file the forms, called “Articles of Organization”, in your state. Filing fees range from $100-$500.

Before any major financial or business decision like filing Articles of Organization to set up your LLC, give us a call. We will consider your unique needs and discuss if an LLC suits you. A.K. Burton, PC specializes in helping our small business clients structure their business to maximize benefits to the parties involved. Having an attorney/CPA on staff allows us to give our clients the most value for their money spent. Even after we have set up your business, we are always serving your business needs.

From filing the paperwork to form your business, filing taxes, business advice, and closing your business; we are a one stop shop. We serve the Bethesda, MD and Washington, D.C area. Contact us at (301) 365-1974 for more information or email us at info@cpa-maryland.com.