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5 Reasons Why Uncle Bill May Not Make a Good Trustee

Posted on: August 1st, 2015
If you have created a dynasty trust that you intend to last for decades into the future, choosing the right trustee is critical to the trust's longevity and ultimate success....

IRS Announcement: Estate Tax Closing Letters Will Now Only Be Issued Upon Request

Posted on: July 15th, 2015
Due to the increased volume of federal estate tax return filings in order to make the 'portability election,' the IRS has announced that estate tax closing letters will only be issued upon request by the taxpayer. This change in IRS policy started on June 1, 2015....

Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths

Posted on: July 1st, 2015
Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions. Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way you expect it to work when it's needed....

What Documents Do You Need to Find After a Loved One Dies?

Posted on: June 15th, 2015
After a loved one dies, you need to gather the important documents that are necessary to settle their final affairs. While the documents required will vary depending on what your loved one owned and owed, below is a list of common documents you will need to find:...

Caution: Writing Your Own Deed to Avoid Probate Can Lead to Unintended Consequences

Posted on: June 1st, 2015
If you want your home or other real estate to pass to your children or other beneficiaries without probate, then seek the advice of an attorney who is familiar with the probate and real estate laws of the state where your property is located. ...

Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians that Anyone Can Use

Posted on: May 15th, 2015
Business entities include partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Business owners need to mitigate the risks and liabilities associated with owning a business, and real estate investors need to mitigate the risks and liabilities associated with owning real estate, through the use of one or more entities. The right structure for your enterprise should take into consideration asset protection, income taxes, estate planning, retirement funding, and business succession goals....

When is an Estate Subject to State Death Taxes?

Posted on: May 1st, 2015
In the United States, certain states collect a death tax based on the value of the deceased person's estate and who inherits it....

How to Easily Integrate Asset Protection Trusts into Your Estate Plan

Posted on: April 15th, 2015
Asset protection has become a common goal of estate planning. Asset protection trusts come in many different forms and can be used to protect property for your use and benefit as well as for the use and benefit of your family....

Five Changes Proposed in President Obama’s 2016 Budget That Could Affect Your Estate Plan

Posted on: April 1st, 2015
The Obama administration recently released its budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year. As in past years, this budget proposes changes to the laws governing federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes. Several of these changes would raise revenue by limiting the tax benefits achieved by using certain estate planning techniques, while others would decrease exemptions and increase rates. In addition, the fifth proposal discussed below is a brand new one that has raised some eyebrows:...

It’s Not Just About Death and Taxes: The Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity

Posted on: March 15th, 2015
Comprehensive estate planning is about more than your legacy after death, avoiding probate, and saving on taxes. It must also be about having a plan in place to manage your affairs if you become mentally incapacitated during your life....

How to Choose the Right Agent for Your Incapacity Plan

Posted on: March 1st, 2015
A common misconception is that estate planning equates to death planning. But planning for what happens after you die is only one piece of the estate planning puzzle. It is just as important to make a plan for what happens if you become mentally incapacitated....

Five Things You Need to Know About the Recently Enacted ABLE Act

Posted on: February 15th, 2015
On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) into law. The ABLE Act will allow certain individuals with disabilities to establish tax-free savings accounts that can be used to cover expenses not otherwise covered by government sponsored programs. These accounts can be a great alternative or supplement to special needs or supplemental needs trusts....

3 Powers to Consider Giving to a Trust Protector

Posted on: February 1st, 2015
Today many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is important that they include a trust protector who will have the ability to adjust the trust provisions as circumstances, beneficiaries, and governing laws change....

5 Good Reasons to Decant a Trust

Posted on: January 15th, 2015
Today many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is important that they include trust decanting provisions to address changes in circumstances, beneficiaries, and governing laws....

How Powers of Appointment Can Improve Your Trust

Posted on: January 1st, 2015
Today many estate plans contain trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is important for the trust creator to consider including powers of appointment in the trust agreement to allow trust beneficiaries to be added or excluded at each generation....

2015 Resolution: Estate Plan Checkup!

Posted on: December 15th, 2014
With 2015 right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your new year's resolutions. It doesn't matter whether you have an estate plan or don't, one important item to add to your list is getting an estate plan checkup....

The Wrong Successor Trustee Can Derail Your Final Wishe

Posted on: December 1st, 2014
Today many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a surviving spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is crucial to choose the right succession of trustees....

The Truth About Personal Risk Management, Part 2: Using Trusts in Estate Planning

Posted on: November 15th, 2014
Paying insurance premiums to protect against potential losses frees us mentally to enjoy driving a car, leave our house empty while on vacation and receive medical treatment for an injury or illness. In the same way, the use of trusts acts like insurance and can shift anxiety to comfort, turmoil to peace, and complexity to understanding....

The Truth About Personal Risk Management, Part 1:

Posted on: November 1st, 2014
Personal risk management is being aware of the risks in your home and in your life, and then planning how to handle those risks. Insurance plays a big part in managing risk. Most people don't like paying insurance premiums, but when something happens and the insurance pays for a covered expense, they are relieved they had it....

What the 2015 Inflation Adjustments for the Estate Tax Exemption and Trust Income Tax Brackets Mean for You

Posted on: October 15th, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service has released the official inflation adjustments that will affect 2015 federal reporting for estate taxes, gift taxes, generation-skipping transfer taxes, and estate and trust income taxes....
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