Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

How Will the Government Shutdown Affect Tax Filings?


The government shutdown is frustrating for many Americans. Even for those who are not directly impacted by the shutdown as an employee working without pay or an employee who is furloughed, the negative impact of the government shutdown may be felt by all taxpayers this year as we prepare to file our income tax returns. The IRS announced it would recall thousands of unpaid workers to avoid a delay in beginning the tax filing season.  However, our


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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Drawbacks of Using a Will Alone


Will my estate go through probate if I have a Last Will and Testament?

Wills and estate planning have become nearly synonymous. When most of us hear the term estate planning, our minds jump to creating a will, and wills do serve an important purpose when it comes to estate planning. The Last Will and Testament is one of the oldest estate planning tools.  With a will, you can name who you want to receive your assets upon your death. Absent this crucial document, your assets will simply be divided in accordance with state law.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Make Sure Your Estate Plan is Disaster Proof


How should I store my estate planning documents to protect against natural disasters?

 

This past year, parts of the nation were struck by horrific natural disasters. In California, multiple wild fires resulted in thousands of families losing their homes and the destruction of entire towns. In North Carolina, Hurricane Florence caused extensive flooding in some regions, forcing families to start over. Meanwhile, Hurricane Michael became the most powerful storm to ever hit the panhandle, causing thousands of residents in communities in the area to lose their homes and businesses. These tragedies highlight the sad fact that in a moment, your possessions could be destroyed.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Do You Have Foreign Assets? How to Ensure You're Compliance with FBAR and FATCA Requirements


It is imperative that taxpayers who have financial assets outside of the United States review the filing requirements and deadlines for reporting foreign assets to ensure they remain compliant with IRS regulations. Filing the correct tax forms on time can avoid excessive fines and penalties that the IRS may assess for noncompliance. Our Arkansas foreign tax compliance lawyers discuss some of the FBAR and FATCA filing requirements below and are available to answer any questions you might have about reporting foreign assets.


Key Things to Know About Reporting Foreign Accounts (FBAR)


An FBAR is not filed with your tax return and does not go to the IRS. The FBAR is filed online through the BSA E-filing System for the Department of Treasury.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Estate-Planning Documents Every 18-year Old Should Have


Many young adults believe they do not need to meet with an Arkansas estate planning attorney because they are too young, do not have sufficient assets, or they simply do not want to deal with issues related to death or incapacitation. However, when a child turns 18 years old, they are no longer a minor. They now have certain privacy rights that a parent cannot violate. Unfortunately, these privacy rights could prevent a parent from caring for or assisting a child once the child is no longer a minor.

Therefore, parents and young adults should work with an Read more . . .


Monday, December 10, 2018

The New Tax Law and Your Estate Plan


How might the new tax law influence your estate planning decisions?


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December of 2017, is anticipated to have far-reaching tax consequences.  One overlooked field that will certainly be impacted is that of estate planning. Tax reform will bring about direct changes to the estate tax exemption, while also have indirect consequences on how you can best plan for the transfer of your assets to the next generation.
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Monday, November 12, 2018

Why Should I Prepare an Estate Plan?

Estate plans serve two major purposes: to prepare you and your loved ones for potential incapacity and certain death. Depending upon your individual purpose for creating an estate plan, you can choose different elements. That is why it is so important to understand these two main purposes of having an estate plan.

Incapacity

Under the law, an individual is considered to be incapacitated if he or she is not able to understand the nature and potential results of a legal proceeding. An individual can be both mentally incapacitated, as well as physically incapacitated.

In estate planning, incapacity means that an individual is unable to control or make decisions for his or her own affairs. If an individual does not have an estate plan that accounts for potential incapacitation, he or she may be appointed a court-supervised guardian or conservator.


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Monday, November 5, 2018

Start Planning for Your Retirement Today

How much money will I need to set aside to retire?

A recent study by Northwestern Mutual suggests that few Americans feel prepared for retirement.  Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study reveals that an alarming 21 percent of those surveyed have no savings for retirement, while an additional ten percent have just $5,000 saved for the future.  Over 78 percent of Americans state that they are extremely or at least somewhat concerned about not having sufficient funds for retirement.  Our Arkansas retirement plan attorneys want you to be ready for retirement when the time comes.  We explore some vital steps you should take to plan for your retirement below.


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Monday, October 15, 2018

Learning From Aretha Franklin’s Death

What will happen to Franklin’s estate?

Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of Soul, recently passed away at the age of 76.  Franklin, who rose to fame and fortune in the late 1960’s, left behind an estate with an estimated value of $80 million. While the size of her estate is no surprise given her fame, what shocked many is that she did not have a will or trust in place.  Without a will to guide the distribution of her assets, her assets will be forced to go through probate and be divided per state law. Our Arkansas estate planning lawyers discuss what will become of Franklin’s estate and how you can use estate planning to avoid probate.

The Fate of Franklin’s Estate

Aretha Franklin’s $80 million estate will need to go through probate in her home state of Michigan because she died without a will or trust in place.  Without any instructions as to her last wishes, the court will be required to distribute her assets in accordance with the law in her home state.  Her family will need to make decisions as to a funeral and burial because they do not have guidance on the matter.


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Monday, October 8, 2018

What is an Offer in Compromise?

If you’ve ever received a notice from the IRS telling you that you owe more money, you know that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know the questions you start asking yourself -- How many more overtime hours will this take to pay off? How will I pay for my child’s college tuition? And more. While being under IRS scrutiny is never a comfortable thing, you may be able to take comfort in the IRS Offer in Compromise program, which provides relief to indebted taxpayers. It’s not as simple as filling out a form, so talking with an experienced offer in compromise lawyer is a good idea if you want to reduce your tax debt.

Reduce Your Tax Debt – As Seen on TV

Many purported “tax relief” companies tout the offer in compromise as a new, limited time gimmick. The truth is, the offer in compromise has been around for decades. Be careful when dealing with debt relief companies that advertise on late-night television. They like to promise big results quickly. Unfortunately, some of the less-scrupulous companies will do nothing but relieve you of your hard-earned money overnight.


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Friday, October 5, 2018

Five Things You Didn't Know About IRS Audits

If you receive notice of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), stay calm, but do not ignore the notice. An audit notice does not necessarily mean that you have done anything wrong. But, you should also make sure that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities by speaking with an..


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