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Blogs

Latest Blog Posts

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

Posted on: January 13th, 2015
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. ...

How To Choose a Trustee

Posted on: October 30th, 2013
When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee basically does what you do right now with your financial affairs--collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell assets, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records and generally keep things organized and in good order....

Estate Planning for Unmarried Partners Part One: Planning for After Death

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013
Estate planning is creating a set of instructions that specify how property is handled after death, and how property and health care decisions are handled during a period of incapacity. Proper estate planning is important for everyone. But for unmarried partners--opposite sex or same sex--it is critical. Part One of this two-part article will address some issues for unmarried partners to consider for after-death estate planning....

The Value of Having a "Plan" in Estate Planning

Posted on: June 13th, 2013
All too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction: a will, a living trust, powers of attorney, etc. But the best planning happens when the professional can get to know the client on a deeper level, to uncover hopes, dreams and aspirations. It becomes more about family and values, and it becomes a process instead of a transaction. ...

Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on: June 13th, 2013
Many young families put off estate planning because they are young and healthy, or because they don't think they can afford it. But even a healthy, young adult can be taken suddenly by an accident or illness. And while none of us expects to die while our family is young, planning for the possibility is prudent and responsible. Also, estate planning does not have to be expensive; a young family can start with the essential legal documents and term life insurance, then update and upgrade as their financial situation improves....

Why You Should Name a Stand-Alone Retirement Trust as Beneficiary

Posted on: April 17th, 2013
(For IRAs and Other Tax-Deferred Retirement Accounts) Naming the right beneficiary for tax-deferred retirement accounts is critical. Most people want to continue the tax-deferred growth for as long as possible, pay the least amount in income taxes and get the maximum stretch-out. Required distributions after the owner dies will be based on the new beneficiary's age and life expectancy, so the younger the beneficiary (like a child or grandchild), the longer the stretch out....

How to Leave Assets to Minor Children

Posted on: April 16th, 2013
Every parent wants to make sure their children are provided for in the event something happens to them while the children are still minors. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives often want to leave some of their assets to young children, too. But good intentions and poor planning often have unintended results....

How to Leave Assets to Adult Children

Posted on: April 16th, 2013
When considering how to leave assets to adult children, the first step is to decide how much each one should receive. Most parents want to treat their children fairly, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they should receive equal shares of the estate. For example, it may be desirable to give more to a child who is a teacher than to one who has a successful business, or to compensate a child who has been a primary caregiver....

Four Common Mistakes in Estate Planning

Posted on: August 13th, 2012
Here are four more common mistakes in estate planning. If your plan is in place and current, this will serve as more validation that you are on the right track. Feel free to share this information with friends and family members, especially those who may not have a plan in place....

A New Tax Goes Into Effect on January 1

Posted on: July 6th, 2012
Now that the health care law has been declared constitutional, the remaining provisions will be going into effect. One little known provision is a new 3.8% investment income surtax, also called the health care surtax or the Medicare tax, that will go into...

Estate Planning Today Must Include Digital Assets and Social Media

Posted on: June 28th, 2012
It wasn’t very long ago that we had only paper for financial and tax records. We could simply point to a file cabinet or drawer and tell someone, “Everything is in there when the time comes.” ...

Create successful wealth transfers with open communication

Posted on: February 7th, 2012
A recent Forbes article claims that '70% of intergenerational wealth transfers fail,...

WHO SHOULD BE SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE - CONSIDER CORPORATE

Posted on: February 7th, 2012
Deciding who will be the Trustee of your trust following your incapacity or death is often the most difficult decision you need to make when creating your estate plan....

2012 Resolutions

Posted on: February 7th, 2012
As 2012 approaches it's time again for New Year's resolutions. According to Forbes, there are 12 resolutions we should all make ' and 'plan your estate' is number two...

2012 Exemption Amount Change

Posted on: November 1st, 2011
The IRS announced that the Estate Tax Exemption will increase next year....

Are AB Trusts Still the Right Choice?

Posted on: October 26th, 2011
A common estate plan for a married couple is an AB Trust....

2011 Update on Estate Taxes

Posted on: October 26th, 2011
On December 17, 2010 President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the "Act"). ...

Client Letter re: 2010 Estate Tax Confusion

Posted on: April 5th, 2010
For married couples, many estate plans divide the estate of the first spouse to die into two broad portions. ...

POWERS OF ATTORNEY - I HAVE A FAMILY TRUST, DO I NEED ONE?

Posted on: October 20th, 2009
A Durable Power of Attorney for Asset Management can be one of the most powerful and overlooked documents in your estate plan....