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Estate Planning Pitfall: You die without having drafted a will

Where there’s a will, there’s a way — a way to pass assets to heirs in the manner in which a person wants. However, if an individual dies without a will, assets will be distributed according to state law, regardless of the...more

Would a spendthrift trust help achieve your estate planning goals?

A person doesn’t have to hold onto assets until the day he or she dies with the hope that heirs will change their ways by that time. Instead, consider using a spendthrift trust that can provide protection, regardless of how...more

A 529 plan can benefit your estate plan

As summer vacations wind down and thoughts turn back to school activities, people might find themselves reviewing their finances and considering the options for funding their children’s (or grandchildren’s) college...more

An uncertain tax climate: An estate tax repeal might result in negative tax consequences for some families

It’s clear that tax reform is a high priority for the Trump administration and Republican leaders in Congress. In particular, the federal estate tax remains a prime target of some lawmakers. One possible scenario is that this...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2017

In This Issue: - An uncertain tax climate: An estate tax repeal might result in negative tax consequences for some families - A 529 plan can benefit your estate plan - Would a spendthrift trust help achieve your...more

Estate Planning Pitfall - You haven’t coordinated your health care directives

The best-laid plans can go astray. For estate planning purposes, the main complication as a person grows older may be the condition of his or her health. This brief article details two health care directives and explains why...more

Fortify your estate plan against undue influence claims

A person can reasonably expect the declarations in his or her will to be carried out, as required by law. Usually, that’s exactly what happens. However, at other times, the will could be contested and his or her true...more

Is a charitable IRA rollover a viable option?

For those age 70½ or older who plan to make charitable donations this year, qualified charitable distributions from an IRA, also known as charitable IRA rollovers, can provide significant tax benefits. This article details...more

The sandwich generation: A slice of life

If a person is pulled between the pressing needs of elderly parents and his or her own children, he or she is part of the “sandwich generation.” This position can lead to frustration, anguish and even financial loss. This...more

Insight on Estate Planning - June/July 2017

The sandwich generation: A slice of life - Do you feel like you’re pulled between the pressing needs of your elderly parents and your own children? If so, you’re part of the “sandwich generation,” the term coined to...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You reside in a state with high estate tax

Even though reforms being debated by Congress could repeal the federal estate tax with certain modifications, state estate taxes might still siphon off hundreds of thousands of dollars regardless of what happens under federal...more

The flexibility of stretch IRAs: Learn how your IRA can benefit your spouse and other beneficiaries

IRAs are meant to be used for retirement saving. However, if a person doesn’t need to tap into an IRA for income during retirement, he or she can preserve the assets as part of his or her estate, above and beyond what was...more

What’s the best option for a pension plan payout?

Typically, estate planning and retirement planning go hand in hand. Why? The more wealth a person is able to set aside for retirement — and the better job he or she does managing retirement funds — the more that will be left...more

Protect multiple generations with a dynasty trust

Dynasty trusts have nothing to do with the popular soap opera from the 1980s, but everything to do with leaving a lasting legacy. Although this type of trust is often created to reduce estate taxes, it can also provide other...more

Insight on Estate Planning - April/May 2017

Protect multiple generations with a dynasty trust - Dynasty trusts have nothing to do with the popular soap opera from the 1980s, but everything to do with leaving a lasting legacy. Although this type of trust is often...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You’ve videotaped your will

Technology enables a deceased person to express wishes to his or her assembled family from beyond the grave, but states generally require wills to be physical documents that are written, signed and properly witnessed during a...more

Is a donor-advised fund right for you?

Those who make sizable gifts to charitable causes can realize personal rewards from their generosity and claim a deduction on their tax returns. One drawback is that, once the money or assets are contributed, they generally...more

Maintaining family harmony: Balance beneficiaries’ needs with a total return unitrust

A traditional trust can sometimes create a conflict among the lifetime and remainder beneficiaries. This makes it more difficult for an estate plan to achieve its objectives and places the trustee in a difficult position. The...more

Stretch out estate tax on business interests

Frequently, heirs of successful entrepreneurs are forced to sell off business interests at “fire sale” prices to help pay federal estate taxes. To alleviate the tax strain, Internal Revenue Code Section 6166 allows heirs to...more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2017

In This Issue: - Stretch out estate tax on business interests - Maintaining family harmony: Balance beneficiaries’ needs with a total return unitrust - Is a donor-advised fund right for you? - Estate planning...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You’re donating high-basis stock to charity

As the end of the year approaches, many may begin thinking about making gifts to qualified charitable organizations as a way to reduce potential estate and income tax liability while supporting a worthy cause. This brief...more

Preparing for a new year: Take time now for a quick estate plan review

Year end is the time to make certain estate planning provisions to protect the interests of heirs and minimize potential estate tax liability. It’s also a good time to conduct a quick review of your estate plan. This article...more

If it’s broken, fix it! Trusts that no longer achieve their objective can be repaired

What with changing life circumstances and new tax laws, not to mention potential mistakes made when an estate plan was first drafted, the trusts used in the plan may now be “broken.” This article details why trusts break and...more

6 estate planning techniques for blended families

A “blended family” is more than just a staple of TV sitcoms. Today, it’s not unusual for a household to include children and even grandchildren from prior marriages, as well as adopted family members or same-sex couples....more

Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2016

In This Issue: - 6 estate planning techniques for blended families - If it’s broken, fix it! Trusts that no longer achieve their objective can be repaired - Preparing for a new year: Take time now for a quick...more

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