Property Tax Stabilization Annual Deadline is December 1

By Maine Taxes, Wills & Estate Planning, Tax

Maine’s Property Tax Stabilization Program, the “Program,” took effect in August 2022. This Program is designed to freeze or stabilize an individual’s property tax on a homestead from year to year. The annual deadline to carry over the previous year’s tax amount is December 1, and an application must be submitted to the local municipality for review each year. Read More

Using IRAs to Make Gifts and Satisfy your Required Minimum Distribution

By Maine Taxes, Wills & Estate Planning

The SECURE Act became law in January 2020.  It stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, which means it changes some of the rules to our retirement accounts. We at Perkins Thompson are ready to review how the SECURE Act affects your estate plan. This writing discusses the strategy to make charitable gifts from a traditional IRA.  There are other facets to the SECURE Act that we will continue to address. Read More

Advance Healthcare Directives Explained

By Maine Taxes, Wills & Estate Planning

An advance healthcare directive lays out your wishes and provides instructions for your healthcare providers to follow when you are no longer able to speak for yourself regarding your medical care.  A directive may be written or spoken but it is much better to prepare an advanced healthcare directive in writing to make sure your desires are reflected accurately and to avoid confusion and misunderstandings down the road.  The directive can include instructions concerning your medical care, healthcare providers and treatment facilities, as well as your wishes when it comes to end of life decisions, organ donations and funeral arrangements. Read More

Tapping Your IRA or 401(k) Plan to Weather the Coronavirus

By Coronavirus, Maine Taxes, Wills & Estate Planning, Tax

In March, U.S. lawmakers passed a coronavirus relief and stimulus package to help Americans weather the economic shutdown.  The package includes changes to retirement plan rules to make it easier for people to take early withdrawals and loans from retirement accounts and IRAs.

Allowing such early withdrawals and loans may be helpful in providing cash for living expenses and avoid the need to tap into credit cards or personal loans to pay bills.  However, the downside of tapping into retirement plan savings is that by so doing the taxpayer may have some long-term detrimental impacts on their retirement. Read More

COVID-19: A Time to Plan

By Coronavirus, Maine Taxes, Wills & Estate Planning

COVID-19 and the unprecedented efforts being taken to prevent its spread have turned the world on its head and brought into focus the importance of preparedness and planning in all aspects of life.

For governments, being prepared means having effective response plans in place to combat the health and economic damage caused to the people they serve.  For businesses, being prepared is having established plans to allow them to adapt to new circumstances and to continue operations.

For individuals, what first comes to mind in being prepared and planning is probably having enough savings tucked away to get through a tough time, or having enough food and supplies stored for their families.  What often gets over looked, even in the best of times, is planning for you and your family’s future in the event of a serious illness, or even death, of a loved one. Read More

COVID-19 is a Black Swan – And Health Care Directives are a Tool to Prepare

By Coronavirus, Maine Taxes, Wills & Estate Planning

COVID-19 is a Black Swan, a reminder to expect the unexpected.  Health Care Directives are a tool to plan.

As we follow the news about COVID-19, it triggers thoughts about what would happen if we got sick. An Advance Health Care Directive is the tool to decide who would make health care decisions for us and what those decisions would be. Read More