Archives for June 2020

Is it Possible to Avoid Inheritance Tax?

How to help your family to save a small fortune when you pass away?

When someone from our closest family dies, we have to deal not only with the grief but also with inheritance tax (IHT), unfortunately. It is a tax concerning the money, possessions, and property of the deceased one. People often feel confused after such a loss, and find it hard to follow the legal restrictions, so they often turn to companies like Probate Advance for help. It is definitely worth finding out if there is a way to avoid such an unpleasant situation as paying a tax on the estate you have inherited. For this reason, we have prepared some tips on how to do it. Check them out!

Let Your Spouse or Civil Partner Get the Estate

Keep in mind that if you leave your estate to your civil partner or spouse, they will be free from paying the tax. Thanks to including this statement in your will, your family will be able to save a lot of money. After your partner’s death, they will only have to deal with the unused personal allowance, which will make it possible for them to pass on even as much as £325,000 more as an element of the primary IHT allowance. In case your partner marries again, the personal allowances that have not been used can be summed up and passed on. However, remember that it is only allowed up to the value of one complete personal allowance.

Gift Your Money

You can effortlessly avoid paying inheritance tax – just by giving away your money when you are still alive. You can gift even as much as £3,000 every tax year, and this amount can be divided between many people. What is more, you can give £250 to others as many times as you want.

If a wedding is coming, you can transfer up to £1,000 and forget about IHT. Your children can get as much as £5,000, and your grandchildren are allowed to receive up to £2,500. You just need to bear in mind that wedding gifts need to be made before the ceremony, and the wedding has to go ahead because if it does not happen, they will be perceived as potentially exempt transfers.

Create a Will

One of the crucial aspects of estate planning is to make a proper will. In this way, you can be certain that your assets will be managed the way you wish. If you do not prepare such a document before your death, your assets will be divided in accordance with the intestacy rules and may require paying inheritance tax that could otherwise be easily avoided. Many people think that the main purpose of creating a will is to have an appropriate division of the assets, but in fact, its another significant function is to allow your family to save a lot of money.

Remember to Stay Below the IHT Threshold

The inheritance tax nil-rate band (so, in other words, the inheritance tax threshold) for individuals counts £325,000 for the tax year 2020/21. It can be transferred to a civil partner or spouse what will make a total nil rate band of £650,000 for a couple. The 2015 Summer Budget introduced a new “main residence transferable allowance,” which gradually raises from £100,000 in 2017 to £175,000 for a person by 2020/21, so people may avoid taxing with IHT on their property. Take into account that this amount of money must be added to the nil-rate IHT threshold.

Place Assets within a Trust

Take into consideration that assets that are put in a trust will not contribute to the value of your estate when you die, so you can avoid inheritance tax in this way as well. For instance, you can put assets into a trust on your children’s behalf when they become adults.

Donate to Charities

If you leave money to any charity that is registered in the United Kingdom, they will not contribute to inheritance tax either. The same rule applies to donations made for local sports clubs and political parties. Furthermore, provided that you let such an organisation gets over 10% of your taxable estate, the inheritance tax rate for the rest of your assets will decrease from 40% to 36%. Keep in mind that the 10% is only applicable to the size of your estate over the lifetime allowance.

All in all, there are quite a few ways to avoid paying inheritance tax, so if you want to save your family from additional worries and expenses when you pass away, take care of this issue while you are still with them!

This summer we are having #CampWarnerBros Giveaways! Your little ones will love this!

LEGO® DC: Shazam! Magic and Monsters is now available to own on Digital, Blu-ray & DVD!

This week (6/22) is Super Hero Week at Camp Warner Bros.! We’re celebrating the release of LEGO® DC: Shazam! Magic and Monsters and provide virtual Super Hero Training to bring out the passion, patience, listening skills, and fun in all of our Super Hero campers.  In this video, Batman will show you what it takes to be a Super Hero! He will offer training tips with fun games for our campers including, “Batman Says,” “Super Hero Freeze,” “Memory Challenges” and more! 

About LEGO® DC: Shazam! Magic and Monsters:

10-year-old Billy Batson shouts a single word and, with lightning bolts flashing, he transforms into Shazam!, a full-fledged adult Super Hero. It doesn’t take long for Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and the rest of the Justice League to take notice and invite the earnest do-gooder to join the team. But to become a member, Billy must reveal his true identity. While fighting off the evil Mr. Mind and Black Adam, Billy learns that he must trust others – and that nothing creates trust like helping those in need. Join the good fight with this giant-sized LEGO DC adventure!

We are having a giveaway! One winner will win a Digital Code of LEGO® DC: Shazam! Magic and Monsters on Movies Anywhere! So how do you win? Let us know your favorite Super Hero and why in the comments below! Deadline to enter is June 28th at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected.

Don’t forget to check in next week as we will be having another fun #CampWarnerBros giveaway and sharing some fun activities!

Self Disclosure: I received a free #Camp WarnerBros kit to facilitate this featured giveaway. Images and information also provided. Stay tuned for next week! It will be the second week of this fun camp and we will be sharing some fun activities!

Kali and Ginger, June 25th Pets of the Week!

AWWWW! Aren’t they the cutest?

These two sweet cats are desperately in need of a home together. Kali and Ginger form a bonded pair—two 5-year-old best friends, and we want to keep that status as forever. Their owner just passed away, and no one wanted to care for them. Kali is a beautiful medium-fur calico with a lovely, sweet face and a personality to match. Ginger is, aptly, an orange cat who’s a little shyer than her buddy but just as sweet once she warms to you. Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through email, so contact AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov to meet them. Please—they so need a forever home together. Ask for ID#A643407 for Kali and ID#A643408 for Ginger.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Family Nature Walk Tips and Activities

Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash

Nature activities can be extremely beneficial for kids’ health and happiness, especially if the whole family is involved. Of course, kids nowadays are mostly attracted to gadgets and screens, but that can always be fixed with a bit of motivation and planning. Therefore, if you’re thinking about spending time outdoors with your loved ones, then going on a walk-in nature, here are some amazing tips that will surely help you have a great time.

1. Prepare your kids for what’s coming ahead

Children can be notoriously impatient, so it’s essential to let them know what to expect. Show them pictures of nature and give them an incentive, so they’ll feel excited and motivated to go. This is mainly important if they have never been in nature before. Also, be sure to tell them about all the fun things that you could all do together. However, be sure to make them feel included because the last thing you need is kids who refuse to cooperate. 

2. Planning things accordingly matters a lot 

Getting in the car and driving away might be tempting, but if you’re going with your family, it’s of utmost importance to plan things the right way. That means learning about the area and potential risks that await there, especially during spring and summer when there are a lot of insects buzzing around. Aside from that, you should make sure to have a plan B in case things don’t work out — so having a picnic is always a great way to relax after a long walk in nature. 

3. Don’t forget to pack all the supplies

Just because you’re not going on a camping trip doesn’t mean you don’t need to pack all the much-needed supplies such as baby wipes, insect-repeller, water bottles and hand sanitizer, just to name a few. Since you’ll be with your children, you should make sure that they have all the snacks, soft drinks and possibly toys, in case they get hungry and bored. However, it’s important to mention that kids’ feet can be sensitive, so you should ensure they have comfortable and lightweight kids sandals, so they’ll be able to walk without getting any blisters or feeling discomfort. 

4. Consider playing some games along the way

Walking in nature can be fun for those who enjoy it on a regular basis. Still, going for a walk with children is a different matter altogether, which is why it’s important to consider some entertainment options that will make walking more fun. For example, naming all the colors and plants along the way can be a great learning experience for your little ones. Aside from that, you can also organize a wet walk which is a walk during the rain. Getting wet and walking through puddles is a great adventure that many kids will find enjoyable and fun. 

5. Sharing is caring

The best way to teach your kids about nature is to share it with them, meaning, rather than telling them about various plants and animals, you should also let them experience everything. Let them touch smell, and possibly taste the plants, but always make sure they’re not poisonous. That way they’ll be able to create memorable experiences that will help them learn about everything that surrounds them in this world. 

6. Always be receptive and kind

This one is extremely valuable because being receptive means having awareness of nature and the outside world in general. If you see that kids’ attention isn’t there, it’s always better to take a break and possibly even go home. You can always come back next time and experience everything all over again. Making things interesting for kids is a sure way to have a wonderful and carefree time outdoors.

Conclusion

Family walk in nature is one of the best activities that you can do with your children. However, be sure to plan things neatly, and don’t forget to let them do things they enjoy. This will surely help them experience nature in an interesting, pleasant and memorable way. 

Hello Summer: Tips to Keep the Pool Swim-Ready & Safe

Photo by Raphaël Biscaldi on Unsplash

Everybody is eagerly anticipated the long-awaited summer, and nobody could resist the temptation to refresh themselves in chilling water near the pool. If you are one of those lucky people who happen to own a swimming pool in the comfort of your house, you are aware of the importance of maintenance. Yes, it is easy to jump in, but it’s a whole other story to clean and keep it safe for future usage. But fear not, here are a few rather nifty ways to welcome the precious summer with ease and have your swimming pool up and ready for numerous enjoyable moments.

  1. Clean up the filters for debris

The water that flows into your pools runs through a certain filter. Adequate water circulation is the key to a safe and clean pool. The filter’s sole purpose is to clean and remove items that are not supposed to be in the pool anyhow, but if something is jamming that process you may end up having a dirtier pool. Remove the filter, clean out the skimmer and strainer basket from any debris like insects, dirt, and algae. Later, backwash your pool filter once you notice the water pressure, and the flow of backwater into the pool is weak. These simple procedures will ensure that your pool is residue and dirt-free, hence a safe place to swim in. 

  1. Use the right pool chemicals

It’s of utmost importance to have your pool tested for chemical balance from time to time. During summertime, we tend to use our pool more frequently and for everybody’s health and safety getting appropriate swimming pool chemicals is a must. Once you have found the right products, use an easy testing kit to check whether all chemical levels in your pool are consistent. A perfect combination of quality pool chemical, regular inspection, and cleaning will keep your pool in the optimal pH balance. 

  1. Optimize chlorine usage

No matter how in a hurry you might be to jump into your pool before getting it thoroughly cleaned, exaggerating with chlorine may lead to severe problems like eye infections or skin infections. Test the pH and chlorine level and keep in mind that the optimum level is around 7.4 for the pH and between 1.0 to 3.0 for chlorine. Before disinfection check whether there is a need for detailed sanitation or just a mild clean up. If you want to avoid the pile of dirt, algae, and debris, do this test once a week and you will always have a clear insight into how much chlorine to add.

  1. Keep it scrubbed and polished

Empty your swimming pool and get a mop to meticulously scrub it before filling it up with water. If you have tiles this will be a fast job, however, if you have a concrete refurbished pool, then you should repaint it first. Once your pool is ready for summer delights, another great and useful way to keep it fantastic shape is to regularly skim the pool surfaces. This means removing leaves, tree branches, or any other items that might have fallen in your pool. Inspect the skimmer lid for any cracks and also clean the dirt before opening it. Last but not least, you can get a practical pool vacuum to vacuum the bottom of the pool, and do all of the above-mentioned skimmings and scrubbing much faster.

  1. Have a steady pool water level at all times

In summer months, evaporation and heat can easily lower your pool water levels and this can lead to skimmer and filter malefactions. If the pool water gets either too low or too high, it can stop the system and you may need to replace the pump and other pool equipment. Inspect pool water level, if necessary fill the pool with water with a garden hose from time to time and if the water is high, just clear out any debris or use a bucket to empty it. 

Without much effort, you can clean your pool and get it shiny and ready for new dazzling summer adventures.

What Are the Best Online Bingo Sites? 7 Awesome Options


Are you trying to learn more about the best online bingo sites? If yes, you should check out our list of options.

If you’re interested in the top bingo sites, you’ll want to read this.

Bingo’s been in the US since the 1920s and it’s only getting better. Not only can you win money, but you can play without leaving home. All you need is an internet connection and to know where to go.

If you’re a busy parent, it’s fun to play a game that has real pay-out with little to no money down. You can keep reading to learn the best online bingo sites that pay have real payouts. Here are seven awesome options.

1. The Sun

The Sun is a bingo site that offers deals to new members, including free spins. There’s a small deposit required to open an account and receive the new member offers. As a member, you will have access to bingo games online.

2. Paddy Power

Paddy Power also offers new members deals for joining. There’s a small deposit required to get access to playing online. From day one, you can enjoy bingo at home.

3. Bingo Besties

Bingo Besties provides new members the chance to get free spins upon signup. There’s a small fee to join this online bingo site.

4. 777 Casinos

777 Casinos is an online bingo that offers you the chance to play without a deposit. You’ll be able to start playing as soon as you sign up on the website. Like the others, you can get free spins and other perks for new memberships.

5. Betfair Bingo

Betfair Bingo brings bingo to you. Their website gives you access to 75-ball, 80-ball, and 90-ball games. You can enjoy perks for signing up, including a loyalty program.

6. Mr. Play

Mr. Play provides everything the best can offer. You can play Bingo and other casino games on their website. New sign-ups can enjoy promotions, and there are perks for loyal members.

7. Zinger Bingo

Zinger Bingo brings you bingo and slots. For a small deposit, you will enjoy new promotions. Once you’re signed up, you’ll have a chance to win daily.

More About the Best Online Bingo Sites

It can be a tough call when trying to choose which of the best online bingo sites fit your needs. You should consider your location and deposit budget. Spend a little time researching which sites provide the best games for your taste.

Whether you’re a parent in the UK or living in the US, Bingo Scanner can provide you with additional information on choosing the Best Bingo Sites to fit your needs. Visit their site today to learn more.

Take Bingo on the Go

If you’re ready to start playing and earning, you can start with the options mentioned here. These seven best online bingo sites will bring the casino to you. With little to no deposit down, you can start today. Self-care is crucial for everyone, especially worn-out parents. If you liked what you read here, explore our site for a little longer. You can enjoy topics about parenting, finances, and outdoor activities.

The Top Tips for Choosing a Dog Crate

Tips for Choosing a Dog Crate

Are you looking to purchase a crate for your dog, but aren’t sure which one to choose? Dog crates can be very useful. They provide a sanctuary for your pet when it needs some privacy, they serve as an important training tool, and they’re a necessary item for travel. 

But, with all the options out there, choosing the right dog crate can sometimes be difficult. 

If you’re not sure which crate to purchase, check out this guide to learn the top tips for choosing the right dog crate. 

1. Figure Out the Correct Crate Size 

First things first, you need to figure out the right-sized crate for your pup. Just as you would be uncomfortable sleeping in a bed that’s too small, so too will your dog be uncomfortable sleeping in a crate that they feel cramped in. 

To figure out the correct crate size, you’re going to need to bust out the tape measure. 

Length

To figure out the appropriate crate length, have your dog stand on all fours and measure them from the base of their tail to their nose’s tip. 

When measuring, it’s best to have your dog’s tail pointing into the air. If it’s sticking straight out at a parallel angle to the floor, then you’ll end up with a crate that’s too large. Once you’ve measured the length of your dog, add two to four inches to that measurement. This will tell you how long the crate should be. 

Height 

To figure out the right crate height, have your dog sit with their bottom on the ground. Then, measure your dog from the top of their head to the floor. Again, add two to four inches to this measurement to determine the crate height. 

Width is not something you need to measure for, as this will be based on the height and length. The only other thing you need to check in terms of dimensions is your dog’s weight. 

If your dog is a normal weight, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about, but you want to make sure your dog’s weight is within the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

2. Consider Your Dog’s Age 

When choosing a crate for your dog, you also want to consider their age. Or, more specifically, how much growing they have left to do. 

If your dog is still a puppy, then it’s best to invest in a crate with a divider panel. Once your puppy begins to grow, you can just remove the divider panel, so they have more space. 

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why not just buy a big crate and forget about the divider panel?” While this may seem like a good idea, buying too large of a crate can derail your potty training efforts. Your dog may figure out that with the extra space, they can pee in one corner of the crate and sleep in the other. Buying an appropriately-sized crate ensures that this doesn’t happen. 

3. Consider the Different Materials 

Another very important thing to consider when choosing a dog crate is the material. The most popular types of dog crate materials are metal, plastic, fabric, and wood. Here’s what you need to know about each material:

Metal 

If you plan to keep your dog’s crate in one spot in your home, then a metal crate is a good option. 

Metal crates are the most popular among dog owners, as they can be modified in different ways using crate covers, dividers, and furniture. As we mentioned earlier, crate dividers are useful if you have a growing puppy, so metal might be your best bet in this case. 

Metal crates also offer plenty of ventilation, and they make it easy for you and your dog to see each other. If you want to give your dog some privacy, then all you need to do is toss a cover over the crate. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that metal can be heavy and it’s prone to rust. Also, if your dog is prone to chewing on things, chewing on a metal crate can severely damage their teeth. 

Fabric 

Fabric is another excellent material worth considering. A fabric crate (also referred to as a soft-sided crate) is great for anyone who is looking for a lightweight crate for travel purposes. 

If you’re allowed to bring your dog into work, a soft-sided, portable crate can be easily tucked under your desk. These crates are also inexpensive and allow for easy setup. 

The downside to fabric crates is that they’re not very durable and they can be easy for dogs to escape from. They can also be a bit difficult to clean. You can check out Pet Life for some great fabric crates. 

Plastic 

If your dog needs a bit more privacy while it’s in its crate, then a plastic crate is a great option. 

If you plan on traveling with your dog on a plane, this type of crate is a great option. In addition to allowing for extra privacy, plastic crates also typically come with handles at the top that make them incredibly portable. 

Plastic crates are also great because they’re lightweight, easy to clean, and hard to escape from. Plastic crates also tend to have low ventilation. 

While some may see this as a drawback, the low airflow can actually help insulate your dog from the cold air, which is especially useful when traveling. Many plastic crates can also be converted into dog beds. 

The drawback to plastic crates is that they’re not as attractive as some other options on the market, they can overheat in hot weather, and they can absorb an unpleasant odor over time. 

Wood 

Wood dog crates are another great option for pet owners who plan to keep their crates in one place.

They’re also great for those who have style in mind, as wood crates are definitely the most aesthetically-pleasing crate option available. Wooden crates are also available in many different designs that you can easily integrate with your home decor. 

The downside of wooden crates is that they can be more expensive, and they’re not easy to move around. 

Now that you know what to look for in a dog crate, it’s time to start shopping! Comment below if you have any questions about choosing the right dog crate.

Book of the week: The ABC’s of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell

The ABC’s of LGBT+ is a #1 Bestselling LGBT book and is essential reading for questioning teens, teachers or parents looking for advice–or anyone who wants to learn how to talk about gender identity and sexual identity. We are living in a post-binary world where gender fluency and a real understanding of our LGBT+ family is essential. Ashley Mardell, one of the most trusted voices on YouTube, presents a detailed look at all things LGBT+ in this remarkable book. Along with in-depth definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, resources, and more, Mardell’s LGBT book is proof that it does get better every day in a world where people are empowered by information and understanding. In Mardell’s own words, “This book is also for allies and LGBT+ people simply looking to pack in some extra knowledge… a critical part of acceptance. Learning about new identities broadens our understanding of humanity, heightens our empathy, and allows us different, valuable perspectives.”  I recommend this book highly, especially for teenagers! Find this book on Bookshop and Amazon!

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample of this book to feature. Cover image was also provided.