The Essence of Estate Planning: Let the Journey Begin

At its most fundamental level, estate planning is about controlling the otherwise-uncontrollable. Death is inevitable; disability is increasingly probable as we age. When death or incapacity occurs, what happens to us, to our property, and to our loved ones? Planning in advance and taking advantage of our many applicable federal and state laws allows us [...]

Planning For Married Couples After the 2012 Tax Act: Should You Transfer Assets to Your Spouse Outright or in Trust?

In this installment of the Passionate Estate Planner, we consider one of the fundamental estate planning questions that married couples need to answer: Whether assets should pass to the surviving spouse outright, or in trust? While this has always been an important question, the enactment of the 2012 Tax Act in January 2013 may have [...]

Navigating the Estate Planning Pitfalls Created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

As the bar for “wealth” moves north many individuals we meet are lulled into thinking that complex estate planning strategies are reserved for those other people with greater wealth than they. With the new $5MM exclusion amount (indexed for inflation) plus portability of a deceased spouse’s exclusion to a surviving spouse, which may allow a [...]

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012: Estate Planning Game Changer?

On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the "2012 Tax Act"). Among its many provisions, the 2012 Tax Act provided the first "permanent" estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax laws since 2001. The Act was widely viewed as the first step towards preventing the U.S. from falling [...]

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