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 [...]

Perpetual Dynasty Trusts – Maximizing The Benefits Of Trusts By Structuring Them To Last Longer

In past issues of The Passionate Estate Planner, we have emphasized the benefits which trusts can provide for those who want to transfer assets to their loved ones. To summarize, these benefits include providing protection from a beneficiary’s creditors or divorce problems, helping protect a beneficiary from predators who might wish to take advantage of [...]

IRAs and Qualified Plan Accounts: Should You Pass Them to Beneficiaries Outright or in Trust?

I.    Introduction and Summary. Most people today have a significant amount of their retirement savings in Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”) or one of many other types of tax deferred accounts generically known as “qualified plan” accounts (“QPs”), such as 401(k) accounts. Except for Roth IRAs or Roth 401(k) accounts which are funded with after-tax income, [...]

Importance of Proper Asset Ownership and Beneficiary Designations

This installment of the Passionate Estate Planner is a reminder that a well done estate plan includes not only properly prepared legal documents, but also the need to properly own your assets and have proper beneficiary designations. It is of key importance that assets are owned and beneficiary designations are handled properly now and periodically [...]

Time is Running Out for Those Who Want to Save Taxes and Provide Huge Benefits to Their Loved Ones!

As readers of our newsletter should already be aware, the 2010 Tax Act is set to expire, or “sunset,” at the end of  2012.  This means that the laws regarding the federal wealth transfer taxes, which are the gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer or “GST” taxes, will all revert to pre-2001 law, including significantly lower [...]

The 2010 Tax Act, Gifts, and Perpetual Dynasty Trusts – The Perfect Estate Planning Combination

One of the many provisions of the tax law which became effective on December 17, 2010 (the “2010 Tax Act”) was a provision which effectively created federal gift and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax exemptions1 of $5,000,000 for each individual U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident. Another provision made these exemptions subject to indexing for inflation [...]

Long-Term Trust-Based Planning Makes Focusing on Intent More Important

What is your true estate planning intent? Let this question sink in for a moment, then think about it again: What is your true estate planning intent? How do you want your loved ones to benefit from the assets you leave behind? Would you like to provide a safety net or a source of support? [...]

Historically Low Interest Rates Create Incredible Planning Opportunities for Those Who Act Quickly

The major, but temporary, changes to the federal gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax laws which were part of the December 17, 2010, tax act (the “2010 Tax Act”) have created a narrow window of opportunity for those who wish to have their hard-earned assets benefit them and their loved ones, rather than the [...]

2010 Tax Act and Videos

For this edition of our monthly Newsletter, the Passionate Estate Planner, we are going to try something different. Richard recently gave a speech at the 2011 Fiduciary Law Institute on important planning under the temporary 2010 Tax Act. While this speech was given primarily to other estate planning attorneys at this prestigious Georgia Institute, we [...]

Possibly the Best Way to Pass Assets to Your Children or Other Loved Ones: GST Planning – Part One

Eventually, we all pass on. At that point, assuming we didn’t die broke, we will usually leave some form of inheritance to people who survive us. Some of us also may also want to make gifts to our loved ones before we die. Proper estate planning allows you to control who will receive a gift or inheritance from you, and to decide how the recipients will benefit from the assets. Proper estate planning... read more

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