Christina Scola

Christina Scola

Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C.

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Estate Planning Pitfall: Your IRA owns real estate

Most people invest their IRA funds in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. But others may opt for nontraditional investments, such as real estate, in the hope of boosting their returns. As this article details, when choosing to...more

6/17/2015 - Capital Gains Estate Planning Financial Planning Income Taxes IRA Popular Prohibited Transactions Real Estate Investments Retirement Plan UBIT

Estate tax relief for family businesses

If a substantial portion of a person’s wealth is tied up in a family or closely held business, he or she may be concerned that the estate will lack sufficient liquid assets to pay estate taxes. If that’s the case, heirs may...more

6/16/2015 - Closely Held Businesses Estate Planning Estate Tax Family Businesses Internal Revenue Code Passive Business Tax Deferral

Does a private annuity have a place in your estate plan?

A private annuity can be a powerful strategy for passing assets to heirs in a tax-efficient manner. In a typical private annuity transaction, a parent transfers property to his or her children in exchange for their unsecured...more

6/12/2015 - Annuities Deferred Private Annuities Estate Planning Estate Tax Gift Tax Reverse Mortality Risk

The basics of basis: Basis planning can result in significant tax savings

Because the gift and estate tax exemption is at a record high of $5.43 million for 2015, many people have shifted their focus from estate planning to income tax planning. An understanding of basis — and the benefits of the...more

6/11/2015 - Capital Gains Estate Planning Estate Tax Gifts Stepped-Up Basis Rule Tax Savings Trusts

Insight on Estate Planning - June/July 2015

In This Issue: - The basics of basis: Basis planning can result in significant tax savings - Does a private annuity have a place in your estate plan? - Estate tax relief for family businesses - Estate Planning...more

6/9/2015 - Deferred Private Annuities Estate Planning Estate Tax Family Businesses IRA Real Estate Investments

Estate Planning Pitfall: You haven’t named backup beneficiaries

To ensure that a person’s wealth is distributed according to his or her wishes, it’s important to designate both primary and secondary (or “contingent”) beneficiaries for a will, trusts, retirement plans and life insurance...more

4/13/2015 - Beneficiaries Beneficiary Designations Estate Planning

Avoid state income taxes with an incomplete nongrantor trust

Now that the federal gift and estate tax exemption has reached an inflation-adjusted $5.43 million, many people are shifting their estate planning focus to income tax reduction. One potentially attractive strategy for...more

4/10/2015 - Estate Planning Estate Tax Income Taxes Nongrantor Trusts

How flexible is your estate plan?

It’s crucial to review and update an estate plan in light of significant life changes or new tax laws. It’s equally important to create estate plan flexibility so that an estate’s executor can make postmortem revisions. This...more

4/9/2015 - Estate Planning Flexibility Clauses QTIP Trusts Qualified Disclaimers Spousal Elective Share

Estate planning for personal property: Why you should sweat the small stuff

When planning their estates, most people focus on major assets, such as business interests, real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it’s also important to “sweat the small stuff” — tangible personal property. This...more

4/8/2015 - Appraisal Estate Planning Estate Tax IRS Personal Property Pour-over Will Revocable Trusts Specific Bequests

Insight on Estate Planning - April/May 2015

In This Issue: - Estate planning for personal property: Why you should sweat the small stuff - How flexible is your estate plan? - Avoid state income taxes with an incomplete nongrantor trust - Estate...more

4/7/2015 - Beneficiary Designations Estate Planning Estate Tax Nongrantor Trusts Personal Property

Estate Planning Pitfall: You’re planning to retire abroad

People who have dreamed of spending their golden years in a tropical paradise or a culture-rich European city should discuss their plans with their advisor before making a move. It’s important to understand the potential tax...more

2/13/2015 - Beneficiaries Ex Patriot Property Tax Retirement Tax Planning

Avoiding undue influence claims

A primary purpose of estate planning is to ensure that wealth is distributed according to one’s wishes after death. But if a family member challenges the plan, that purpose may be defeated. If the challenge is successful, a...more

2/13/2015 - Beneficiaries Undue Influence Claims

Get smart when tackling estate planning for intellectual property

How should one account for intellectual property (IP), such as a patent or copyright, in their estate plan? These intangible assets can be highly valuable, and they should be handled according to the owner’s wishes. This...more

2/11/2015 - Asset Protection Beneficiaries Copyright Patents Popular Trade Secrets Trademarks

Estate planning for young families - Flexibility is the key

Younger taxpayers are faced with a dilemma: Should they minimize gift and estate taxes through lifetime gifts? Or, should they keep assets in their estates to help ease the potential income tax burden on their heirs? The...more

2/9/2015 - Beneficiaries Dependents Estate Tax Inter Vivos Gifts Tax Basis Tax Planning

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2015

In This Issue: - Estate planning for young families: Flexibility is the key - Get smart when tackling estate planning for intellectual property - Avoiding undue influence claims - Estate Planning Pitfall:...more

2/6/2015 - Beneficiaries Intangible Property Retirement Tax Planning Undue Influence Claims

Estate Planning Pitfall - You haven’t planned for incapacity

Most estate plans focus on what happens after death — but a plan is incomplete if arrangements haven’t been made in the event of mental incapacity. If the plan doesn’t specify how these decisions will be made, and by whom, a...more

12/15/2014 - Durable Power of Attorney Estate Planning Guardians Living Will Power of Attorney Revocable Trusts

Charitable deductions: Substantiate them or lose them

Qualifying for a charitable deduction is, in some respects, a matter of form over substance. The IRS could disallow a deduction, even if it’s otherwise legitimate, if the donor fails to follow the substantiation requirements...more

12/12/2014 - Charitable Deductions Charitable Donations Income Taxes IRS

Will your estate plan benefit from a trust protector?

Even though one may appoint a trustee to oversee distribution of a trust’s assets, it’s possible to go a step further by appointing a trust protector. This person will serve as an overseer of the trustee’s actions. Taking...more

12/10/2014 - Estate Planning Trust Protector Actions Trustees Trusts

Saving for college is also good for your estate plan

A 529 plan is one of the most powerful and flexible tools available for college savings, but it also provides some unique estate planning benefits. This article explains how 529 plans work for savings purposes, but also notes...more

12/9/2014 - 529 Plans Estate Planning Paying For College

Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2014

In This Issue: - Saving for college is also good for your estate plan - Will your estate plan benefit from a trust protector? - Charitable deductions: Substantiate them or lose them - Estate...more

12/8/2014 - Paying For College Trust Protector Actions Trustees Trusts

Estate Planning Pitfall: Watch out for IRA traps

An IRA can be a valuable estate planning tool, offering tax-deferred growth (tax-free in the case of a Roth IRA) and asset protection. But two recent developments create traps for the unwary: the “one-rollover-per-year” rule...more

10/17/2014 - Asset Protection Beneficiaries Consumer Bankruptcy Creditors Inherited IRA IRA IRA Rollovers Tax Deferral

Good intentions: Don’t let asset transfers run afoul of the law

With the current estate tax regime of a high gift and estate tax exemption amount and low estate tax rates, transferring wealth is becoming the focus of estate planning rather than reducing estate tax liability. And with...more

10/16/2014 - Creditors Estate Tax Fraudulent Transfers Gift-Tax Exemption Real Estate Transfers Tax Exemptions

Now’s the time for a charitable lead trust

Affluent families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking...more

10/15/2014 - Charitable Lead Annuity Trust Charitable Trusts Estate Planning Estate Tax Trusts

The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years

Traditionally, trusts used in estate planning contain “Crummey” withdrawal powers to ensure that contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has reached a higher level,...more

10/14/2014 - Beneficiaries Gift-Tax Exemption IRS Powers of Withdrawal

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2014

In This Newsletter: - The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years - Now’s the time for a charitable lead trust - Good intentions: Don’t let asset transfers run afoul of the law - Estate Planning...more

10/13/2014 - Estate Planning Trusts

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