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News and Announcements – July 2017

News and Announcements – July 2017

Higher Exclusion Limits and Trusts 

Now that the federal estate-tax exemption is $5.49 million for individuals in 2017, it’s estimated that 99% of all estates can gift all assets to heirs free of federal estate taxes without the use of trusts. But the value of many kinds of trusts lies not only in their capacity for sheltering you from estate taxes, but also from other kinds of taxes and helping you control how your assets are distributed and spent by beneficiaries. Here is a short list of some of these purposes:

Income and capital gains tax advantages. While shielding your heirs from estate taxes is the principal benefit of trusts, charitable trusts can also reduce your income and capital gains tax liability. Trusts can also help you or your heirs avoid being subject to capital gains taxes on the sale of highly appreciated assets.

Who gets what and when? Some trusts are designed chiefly to give you control over who receives what portion of your assets after you die. For example, a Qualified Terminal Interest Trust (QTIP) is useful for people who  have children from a first marriage and step-children from a subsequent marriage. The owner of a QTIP can provide for the income needs of the second spouse for as long as he/she lives and then transfer trust assets on his/her death to his/her children. Similarly, charitable trusts give you the choice of donating the income from assets you transfer to the fund but keeping those assets in your family, or using the income for your own benefit, then donating the principal or property after you die.

Spending for specific purposes or at specific ages. Do you want your children to be supported after you die, but want them to only spend the money for their educations? Do you want them to have limited access to the funds until they’re 30 or in five-year intervals? Various trusts can help accomplish these objectives.

Should You Consider Incentive Trusts?

Should You Consider Incentive Trusts?

You’re looking for an effective way to get your heirs to do what you think is best for them, for the family, and for the world. Is an incentive trust the right vehicle to accomplish that? An incentive trust is much like a traditional irrevocable trust, except it sets specific conditions on trust distributions. Some people establish incentive trusts to make sure beneficiaries stay in… Continue Reading

Estate Planning for Blended Families

Estate Planning for Blended Families

In a blended family, it can be difficult to determine what’s yours, mine, and ours, but it’s an issue that needs to be addressed. Discovery  The first step is for you and your spouse to have a very open conversation to discover: Plans you may have from previous marriages — You will need to review any plans you have in place from previous marriages,… Continue Reading

Estate-Planning Tips for Baby Boomers

Estate-Planning Tips for Baby Boomers

As the baby boomer generation gradually makes the transition from their working years to retirement, it’s time for them to get serious about estate planning. But for a variety of reasons, many boomers have put off this essential task, putting them and their families at risk. These tips can help this generation get back on track with estate planning. Know what your children expect — and… Continue Reading

Talking to Your Family about Your Estate Plan

Talking to Your Family about Your Estate Plan

It is essential to have this conversation with your family so they know what to expect, understand why you made certain decisions, and have time to absorb and accept your decisions. Having this conversation before your death when things can be explained will help avoid the potential relationship damage that can happen if no one understands your decisions. Choose the right person for the right job… Continue Reading

Got D&O Insurance? Providing Critical Protection for Your Executives

Got D&O Insurance? Providing Critical Protection for Your Executives

Few risks are as stressful to a board director or corporate officer as a lawsuit alleging wrongful acts in their employment capacities. This explains why Directors and Officers liability insurance (D&O) is critical to absorbing their legal defense costs in civil and criminal trials and regulatory investigations. Such actions are not for the fainthearted. At… Continue Reading

Making Sense of Sunscreen

Making Sense of Sunscreen

Learn more about UV rays and how to choose a good sunscreen and use it properly. Sunscreens promise protection from the sun’s UV rays, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer.  But how effective are they? Studies prove that sunscreen lowers the incidence of skin cancer.  But sunscreen doesn’t give complete protection, and using it… Continue Reading

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