Tax Breaks Brought Back From the Dead

Federal lawmakers will simplify tax planning for many by making certain tax breaks permanent — including one for charitably inclined older investors. Many tax breaks expire after a year or so, requiring an act of Congress to briefly extend them again. That has made tax strategizing difficult, because people don’t know if Congress will let an expired deduction or credit lapse for good or revive it at the last minute. As part of the omnibus spending bill that the U.S. …

8 Scams That Take Aim at Veterans

En español  | Just in time for Veterans Day, there’s a despicable new addition to a long list of scams that target veterans and their families. Scammers are calling widows of military veterans, saying the deceased had a hefty life insurance policy but payments are in arrears — and a few thousand dollars will bring the life insurance policy up to date. Whether you’re an active-duty member or a military veteran, a family member or an everyday civilian who appreciates …

Five Ways Criminals Con You Out of Your Cash

If you have money, scammers have a way to take it from you. Con artists talk about getting their victims so emotionally charged up that they are unable to think logically. They call it “under the ether,” and it is how they play on hope, fear and empathy to defraud their victims. Find out how to protect yourself from five common scams with staying power. Sweetheart. Savvy scammers do their homework, tailoring their false identity to target their victims, and …

In $300 Million Estate, Lawyers Lose a Piece of the Action

Most of us don’t have $300 million to leave behind when we pass on. But for those who do, it’s no surprise when there’s a fight over their wills. And when they leave most of their estate to charities and caretakers instead of family members? Bring on the trusts and estates lawyers. A couple of weeks ago, I told you about Huguette Clark, the New York City heiress who died after living for 20 years in a hospital room, treating …

The Takeaway: Boomer Volunteers Needed

As more boomers transition from full-time employment to “retirement”””whatever that may mean these days””charities see an opportunity to capitalize on some of their newfound free time.

It’s the Donor’s Money

Have you ever noticed that when you buy a tube of toothpaste from the grocery store, that you never think the money you spend still belongs to you? Fact: you exchanged the money for the toothpaste. Toothpaste belongs to you and the money belongs to the store you bought it from. Quid pro quo, tit for tat, or as some say, “We’re square.” Not so with donations! After 23 years in fundraising, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve …