Articles & Information

Sudden Impact: When a Spouse Unexpectedly Dies

Posted On: January 19th 2019

What if the unthinkable happens and your spouse dies unexpectedly? Would you be prepared to cope emotionally and financially? As the surviving spouse, you’ll face several tasks and challenges. First Steps First By no means complete, the following are areas that will need to be addressed: Death Certificates. One of the first things to do…

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How Incomplete Non-Grantor Trusts can Help Avoid State Income Taxes

Posted On: January 15th 2019

With the federal gift and estate tax exemption at $11.40 million for 2019, people whose estates are below the exemption amount are shifting their focus to income tax reduction. High-income taxpayers — particularly those who live in high-income-tax states — may want to consider incomplete non-grantor trusts, which make it possible to eliminate state taxes on…

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Automatic Extension Available for Making Portability Election

Posted On: January 11th 2019

Portability allows a surviving spouse to apply a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption amount toward his or her own transfers during life or at death. To secure these benefits, however, the deceased spouse’s executor must have made a portability election on a timely filed estate tax return. The return is due nine months after…

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A Pre-Nup or a DAPT: Which is the Better Choice?

Posted On: January 8th 2019

If you or one of your adult children is getting married, you may be concerned about protecting your family’s assets in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be an effective tool for overriding marital property rights and keeping assets in the family. But these agreements have disadvantages. For many families, a better…

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College-Aged Children Need a Basic Estate Plan

Posted On: January 3rd 2019

If your son or daughter currently is home from college on winter break, now is a good time to sit down and discuss a few estate planning documents he or she should have at this stage of life. Let’s take a closer look at four such documents: Health Care Power of Attorney. With a health…

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Does your Estate Include Intellectual Property?

Posted On: December 30th 2018

If you’ve invented something during your lifetime and had it patented, your estate includes intellectual property (IP). The same goes for any copyrighted works. These assets can hold substantial value, and, thus, must be addressed by your estate plan. However, bear in mind that these assets are generally treated differently than other types of property….

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The Net Investment Income Tax is Alive and Well

Posted On: December 28th 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced individual income tax rates, but it left the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT) in place. It’s important to address the NIIT in your estate plan because it can erode your earnings from interest, dividends, capital gains and other investments, leaving less for your heirs. How it…

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In an Unpredictable Estate Planning Environment, Flexibility is Key

Posted On: December 26th 2018

Last year’s tax reform legislation — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) — made only one change to the federal gift and estate tax regime, but it was a big one. The act had the effect of more than doubling the combined gift and estate tax exemption, as well as the generation-skipping transfer (GST)…

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You’re Borrowing from Your Retirement Plan

Posted On: December 24th 2018

If you have a substantial amount of money socked away in a 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan, it may be tempting to borrow from those funds to pay college tuition, credit card bills or other expenses. Before you do, however, be sure to discuss your options with your financial advisor. Given the risks and…

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Intellectual Property Requires Careful Estate Planning

Posted On: December 21st 2018

If your estate includes forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, it’s important to know how to address them in your estate plan. Although these intangible assets can have great value, in many ways they’re treated differently from other property types. 2 Estate Planning Questions For estate planning purposes, IP raises two…

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