When George Bailey is standing on the bridge, despairing that he has let his family down, he thinks of Mr. Potter's taunt: "You're worth more dead than alive." Potter, of course, has set the scene for the rest of the movie, as George learns his life lesson. "It's a Wonderful Life" may be the first movie any of us remember that prominently features a life insurance policy.
If your estate plan were a movie, who would you cast in the supporting roles? First, there should be an attorney, the skilled estate planning professional who knows California probate and tax law and who can come up with all kinds of strategies to maximize what your heirs and beneficiaries will receive.
We are almost done with our overview of how to determine if you must pay a capital gains tax on the sale of your home. A quick recap of the last two posts: Start with what you paid for the home, then add anything that increased the value of the property and deduct anything that may have decreased the value of the property.
Those of us who remember publisher-millionaire Steve Forbes' presidential campaigns may still be able to close their eyes and hear his mantra: "Do the math." His platform was based on instituting a flat tax rate for income tax. It sounds so easy. But so does a comedian's tax reform idea: "How much did you make? Pay that amount."