Brought to you by:
Jeffrey N. Schweitzer, EPA, CEP, ATP
Northeast Financial Strategies Inc
667 South Street
Wrentham, MA 02093

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About Our Firm:
Offering Financial & Estate Planning, Investments, Insurance, Accounting, Payroll, and Income Tax Preparation for Individuals & Small Business. "Financial Strategies That Fit YOUR Needs!"
QUOTES from the Masters...
On Trust On Values/Principles
"Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A person will not buy from you until he is convinced that you are a friend and are acting in his best interest.  You must make this clear." -– Brian Tracy

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved." -– George MacDonald

"The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you live by, you will change your world." -- Blaine Lee

"Freedom requires that we learn and put into practice the three R's - Respect, Responsibility, and Restraint." -- Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, TOR

"Determine your unifying principles in life and resolve to live by them." -– Brian Tracy

"Count the cost first.  Don't pay too big a price for pursuing minor values." -- Jim Rohn

  Estate Ideas
Misconceptions About the Unlimited Marital Deduction...

The marital deduction eliminates both the federal estate and gift tax on transfers of property between a husband and wife
, in effect treating them as one economic unit.  The amount of property that can be transferred between them is unlimited, meaning that a spouse can transfer all of his or her property to the other spouse, during lifetime or at death, and completely escape any federal estate or gift tax on this first transfer. 

However, property transferred in excess of the unified credit equivalent will ultimately be subject to estate tax in the estate of the surviving spouse, meaning that use of the unlimited marital deduction will NOT eliminate estate settlement costs.

Consider the following:

  • At best, the unlimited marital deduction will POSTPONE payment of the federal estate tax, not ELIMINATE it.  If the estate of the surviving spouse exceeds the unified credit equivalent(1), federal estate tax will be payable at the second death.  In fact, postponing payment of the tax may even result in a higher federal estate tax, if estate assets continue to grow.
  • The unlimited marital deduction does not eliminate the need for estate liquidity to pay administrative costs, such as funeral expenses, probate costs, legal fees and final expenses.
  • The unlimited marital deduction is NOT available to:
    * Surviving spouses;

    * Single or divorced people; or

    * A married person who wants/needs to leave property to someone other than the spouse.

(1)  The 2010 Tax Relief Act provides for "portability" of the maximum estate tax unified credit between spouses.  This means that a surviving spouse can elect to take advantage of any unused portion of the estate tax unified credit of a spouse who dies in 2011 or 2012 (the equivalent of $5 million in 2011).  As a result, with this election and careful estate planning, married couples can effectively shield up to $10 million from the federal estate and gift tax without use of marital deduction planning techniques, but only if one of the spouses dies in 2011 or 2012. 
Since the 2010 Tax Relief Act "sunsets" at the end of 2012, "portability" between spouses will not be available beginning in 2013 unless Congress takes action in the future.  As a result, the benefits of continued use of marital deduction planning techniques should be evaluated in developing an estate plan.

With proper advance planning, it may be possible to take full advantage of the marital deduction at both spouses' deaths, reducing estate tax liability and increasing the size of the estate ultimately left to surviving family members.


MESSAGES from the Masters...

You may have a thousand different goals over the course of your lifetime, but they all will fall into one of four basic categories. Everything you do is an attempt to enhance the quality of your life in one or more of these areas. 


The first category is your desire for happy relationships. You want to love and be loved by others. You want to have a happy, harmonious home life. You want to get along well with the people around you, and you want to earn the respect of the people you respect. Your involvement in social and community affairs results from your desire to have happy interactions with others and to make a contribution to the society you live in. 


The second category is your desire for interesting and challenging work. You want to make a good living, of course, but more than that, you want to really enjoy your occupation or profession. The very best times of your life are when you are completely absorbed in your work. 


The third category is your desire for financial independence. You want to be free from worries about money. You want to have enough money in the bank so that you can make decisions without counting your pennies. You want to achieve a certain financial state so that you can retire in comfort and never have to be concerned about whether or not you have enough money to support your lifestyle. Financial independence frees you from poverty and a need to depend upon others for your livelihood. If you save and invest regularly throughout your working life, you will eventually reach the point where you will never have to work again. 


The fourth and final category is your desire for good health, to be free of pain and illness and to have a continuous flow of energy and feelings of well-being. In fact, your health is so central to your life that you take it for granted until something happens to disrupt it. 


Peace of mind is essential for every one of these. The greater your peace of mind, the more relaxed and positive you are, the less stress you suffer, the better is your overall health. 

The more peace of mind you have, the better are your relationships, the more optimistic, friendly and confident you are with everyone in your life. When you feel good about yourself on the inside, you do your work better and take more pride in it. You are a better boss and coworker. And the greater your overall peace of mind, the more likely you are to earn a good living, save regularly for the future and ultimately achieve financial independence. 


Life is very much a study of attention. Whatever you dwell upon and think about grows and expands in your life. The more you pay attention to your relationships, the quality and quantity of your work, your finances and your health, the better they will become and the happier you will be. 


Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action. 

First, take time on a regular basis to think about what would make you really happy in each of the four areas. 

Second, set specific, measurable goals for improvement in your relationships, your health, your work and your finances and write them down. 

Third, resolve to do something every day to increase the quality of some area of your life - and then keep your resolution.

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The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals.  The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.  For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above. 

Published by The Virtual Assistant; 2011 VSA, LP