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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

What are the Benefits of a Durable Power of Attorney?


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY?

No one likes to think about being incapacitated, but the threat is quite real. According to recent statistics, about one out of every nine people are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, while roughly half of the population has at least one risk factor for stroke. Don’t think that you’re immune.

This raises some troubling thoughts about how your personal and financial affairs will be handled in the event you’re incapacitated. If you haven’t already done so, address the possibility as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Executors and Trustees


EXECUTORS AND TRUSTEES

The name game.....
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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Digital Assets and Your Estate Plan


DIGITAL ASSETS AND YOUR ESTATE PLAN

This asset type requires special planning.....
Read more . . .


Monday, April 27, 2020

ESTATE PLANNING PITFALL


ESTATE PLANNING PITFALL

You’re setting up trusts in your home state

Suppose you’ve decided to include one or more trusts in your family’s estate plan. It’s only natural that you should create the trust in the state where you live, right? Wrong. Don’t assume that this is the best approach. For a variety of reasons, you may be better off taking the trust to a different jurisdiction.

For example, certain trust-friendly states may permit perpetual “dynasty trusts” that benefit many generations to come, while others allow “silent trusts” where the beneficiaries don’t have to be notified about their interests.


Read more . . .


Friday, April 24, 2020

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT GUARDIANSHIP


DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT GUARDIANSHIP

If you’re the parent of a newborn or toddler, you’re probably already thinking about naming a guardian for your child. This can be a difficult decision, especially if you have a plethora of choices or no one you can really trust. Or perhaps you plan on petitioning the court for guardianship of a child. In either event, you must adhere to the legal principles under state and local law. 

Questions & answers

The following are answers to several common questions about guardianship:

Q.
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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Covering All The Bases


COVERING ALL THE BASES

Both your business and estate plan can benefit from a buy-sell agreement

A buy-sell agreement provides for the disposition of each owner’s business interest after a “triggering event,” such as death, disability, divorce, termination of employment or withdrawal from the business. However, to be effective, the agreement must include the appropriate provisions.

It also should be part of your estate plan if you own an interest in a family-owned or other closely held business.

What are the benefits?

A well-crafted buy-sell agreement provides many benefits, including:

  • Keeping ownership of the business within the family or another select group (for example, people actively involved in the enterprise),
  • Preventing an owner’s former spouse from acquiring a business interest in the event of a divorce,
  • Providing owners and their heirs with liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses in the event of death or disability,
  • Establishing the value of the business for gift and estate tax purposes (if certain requirements are met), and
  • Minimizing disputes over ownership succession issues.

Typically, buy-sell agreements achieve these objectives by requiring or permitting the company or the remaining owners to purchase the interest of an owner who dies, becomes disabled or leaves the business.
Read more . . .


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Protecting Your Will From Legal Challenges


Protecting your will from legal challenges

You’ve probably seen it in the movies or on TV hundreds of times: A close-knit family gathers for the reading of the will of a wealthy patriarch or matriarch. When the terms are revealed, someone benefits at the expense of someone else, causing a ruckus. It may even come to blows. This “bad blood” continues to boil between estranged family members who won’t even speak to one another.

Unfortunately, a comparable scenario can play out in real life as well if you don’t make proper provisions.
Read more . . .


Thursday, March 12, 2020

When to Elect the Alternate Valuation Date


When to elect the alternate valuation date

The stock market goes up, the stock market goes down. Just consider recent history. In 2018, stocks took one of their worst beatings since the Great Depression, with the Dow Jones Industrials Average (DJIA) falling 5.6% for the year and the S&P 500 down 6.2%.
Read more . . .


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Do You Know When an FBAR Must be Filed?


Do you know when an FBAR must be filed?

If you have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, foreign financial accounts with an aggregate value exceeding $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, you must file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the IRS have been stepping up enforcement of foreign account reporting requirements. Thus, it’s important to closely follow compliance rules to avoid penalty.

Foreign financial accounts defined

Financial accounts include bank accounts, securities and brokerage accounts, and other accounts maintained with a financial institution or “other person performing the services of a financial institution.” They also include mutual funds, insurance and annuity funds with cash values, commodity futures or options accounts, and certain retirement accounts.
Read more . . .


Friday, February 28, 2020

A WIN-WIN PROPOSITION


A WIN-WIN PROPOSITION

A charitable remainder trusts benefits you and your favorite charity

Are you a multitasker? If so, you may appreciate an estate planning technique that can convert assets into a stream of lifetime income, provide a current tax deduction and leave the remainder to one of your favorite charities — all in one fell swoop. It’s the aptly-named charitable remainder trust (CRT).

CRTs have been around for decades, and they remain a viable estate planning strategy in the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and other recent tax legislation.

A CRT in action

For starters, you may set up one of two CRT types (see the sidebar “2 Types of CRTs” at x) and fund it with assets you own. The trust then pays out income to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries — for example, the trust creator or a spouse — for life or a term of 20 years or less.
Read more . . .


Friday, February 28, 2020

A CRUMMEY TRUST MAY SOUND PRETTY GOOD


A Crummey Trust May Sound Pretty Good

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has reduced estate tax concerns for many families, but estate tax liability remains a concern for some. Notably, you may implement strategies in the wake of the TCJA that are designed to reduce future exposure to federal and state estate taxes.

One such option, a Crummey trust, remains a viable option. Despite its odd-sounding name, derived from the landmark case authorizing its use, the results are anything but crummy.

“Present interest” vs.
Read more . . .


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