Monday, November 08, 2010

Taxes, Inheritance, Wealth Planning . . . Tell Me More!

As the sponsors of this blog like to point out, people crave information on taxes, inheritance and other facets of wealth planning. The New York Times has taken note. Last Friday it offered a special section on concerns of the Sandwich Generation.

(Sometimes the sandwich is a double-decker. A middle-aged acquaintance of ours was worried not only about his elderly parents but also about his extremely venerable paternal grandmother.)

The next day's Times offered an article on Stepping In For a Parent With Alzheimer's. Included is a nice plug for that bank with the stage coach:
Wells Fargo Private Bank, which requires more than $1 million in investable assets, offers an Elder Services program. It will coordinate a variety of services, from dealing with medical claims, taking the cat to the veterinarian and paying the bills, while keeping a close eye on the accounts for fraudulent activities. The service is included in the bank’s investment management fees, which range from 0.80 to 2 percent of assets. Let’s hope we see more such services — and not just for the wealthy.
Sunday's Times offered Richard Thaler's lucid report on the looming estate tax debate, to be conducted by a lame-duck Congress. Subjecting estates of $1 million to $3.5 million to estate tax would impact "middle-class households," Thaler observes, confirming our suspicion that the middle class isn't what it used to be.

As The Times' Paul Sullivan notes, even middle-class millionaires are low on the wealth ladder these days:
We live in Fairfield County, Conn., one of the more affluent areas of the country. I joke that, for all the money here, there are still three classes of people: upper middle class, upper class and hedge-fund rich.
In other words, marketers of trust services, imagine a set of suburbs exceeding your wildest dreams. Every household contains a prospect!

No comments: