End of the Year Notes – Gifting

Much has been written about strategies for taking advantage of the historically unprecedented $5,120,000 exclusion from gift taxes that is available for gifts during 2012.  Time is running out on the ability to make and document such gifts before the end of the year. Of course the furor is all about what happens if the [...]

Planning For After The First Death

A comprehensive estate plan includes understanding what steps will be required when you or your spouse dies.  Tax planning advantages and the intended distribution of wealth to your loved ones takes place in stages and certain opportunities will be lost unless the proper plan is in effect when the first spouse passes away.  This [...]

Observations From The Trenches: Logical Estate Planning

Over my many years practicing law I have become a niche lawyer concentrating on estate planning. A growing part of my estate planning practice involves administration of trusts and estates. An inevitable part of trust or estate administration is resolving contested matters. Unhappily, a large number of those disputes become litigated matters instead of models [...]

16 (Potentially Fatal) Problems With Joint Tenancy

No creditor protection is available when property passes by joint tenancy. Creditors come in many shapes and sizes these days. Jury verdicts in even the most common accidents easily exceed insurance limits. Aging survivors are more susceptible to lapses of concentration while driving or otherwise. Why unnecessarily expose all of the survivor’s assets to [...]

25 Ways To Mess Up Your Estate Plan

Most of us don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan. Dwight Eisenhower said, “when preparing for battle, I always found plans useless, but planning indispensable.” If you can envision it, we can make it happen efficiently with a minimum of delay, tax, and cost. Our goal is for you to control your property while [...]

Exploding The Myths About Estate Planning

When listening to sales pitches to buy estate planning or financial products beware of “The Ring of Truth”: A broken clock is right twice a day One size does not fit all! Is it an endorsement or is it paid for advertising? FLPs, trusts, annuities, asset protection are popular seminar topics because they are [...]

Four Good Reason For Formal Updating

“Formal Updating” refers to meeting with your attorney periodically on a set schedule to determine if any changes should be made to your trust. There are four (4) principal reasons why this is important: Changes in the law. Both the federal tax law and state laws on issues such as asset protection, beneficiary rights, [...]