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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

Estate Planning Pitfall - You haven’t addressed pets in your estate plan

Pet owners in all 50 states can now make provisions for their animals through a trust. This “pet trust” allows owners to set aside funds for the animal’s care. After the pet dies, any remaining funds are distributed among...more

10/7/2016  /  Grantors , Pet Trusts , Pets

Arrange your RMDs before year end

Per IRS rules, people must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their retirement plans and IRAs beginning April 1 of the year after the year in which they turn age 70½. And they must continue taking RMDs...more

Should your powers of attorney be springing or nonspringing?

A power of attorney (POA) is an important component of an estate plan because it provides details for making critical financial and medical decisions if a person becomes incapacitated. This article defines a POA and explains...more

Gift giving made easy - Annual exclusion reduces your taxable estate

How can a person reduce the size of his or her taxable estate? There are many ways to accomplish this objective, including the use of irrevocable trusts and other sophisticated estate planning techniques. But one of the most...more

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2016

Gift giving made easy - Annual exclusion reduces your taxable estate - How can you reduce the size of your taxable estate? There are many ways to accomplish this objective, including the use of irrevocable trusts...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You’re transferring your home to your children

Frequently, parents choose to transfer ownership of a home to their adult children to remove it from their taxable estates. There are many good reasons to do this, but the road is paved with tax potholes. This brief article...more

Making the most of your GST tax exemption

To share wealth with grandchildren, great-grandchildren or even more remote generations, special planning may be required to keep generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes to a minimum. When it comes to GST tax planning, the...more

The write stuff: A letter of instructions

When drafting an estate plan, the centerpiece is a will or living trust. Such a document determines who gets what, where, when and how, as well as tying up the loose ends of an estate. A valid will or living trust can be...more

8/1/2016  /  Estate Planning , Living Trust , Wills

Alternate valuation date Flexible postmortem planning a plus when markets are volatile

Many people may assume that filing a federal estate tax return is pretty cut-and-dried. The executor or professional representative completes the return, pays the requisite amount of tax, if any, and that’s the end of the...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2016

In This Issue: - Alternate valuation date: Flexible postmortem planning a plus when markets are volatile - The write stuff: A letter of instructions - Making the most of your GST tax exemption - Estate...more

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