Funding a Revocable Trust

Have you properly funded your revocable trust? If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become incapacitated) and probate avoidance. But these benefits aren’t available … Continued

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Tax Strategies

Use a Tax Strategy to maximize basis planning even if estate taxes aren’t a threat For many people today, income tax planning offers far greater tax-saving opportunities than gift and estate tax planning. A record-high gift and estate tax exemption — currently $5.49 million ($10.98 million for married couples) — means that fewer people are subject to … Continued

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ABCs of HSAs

How an HSA can benefit your estate plan One health care arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The good news is that not only does an HSA provide a tax-advantaged way to pay for health … Continued

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The Write Stuff: Instruction Letters

Using Instruction Letters in Your Plan. When you draft an estate plan, the centerpiece is your will or living trust. Such a document determines who gets what, where, when and how, as well as tying up the loose ends of your estate. A valid will or living trust can be supplemented by other legally binding … Continued

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Planning for Tax Policy Change

Tax law uncertainty requires an estate plan that can roll with the changes Events of the last decade have taught us that taxes are anything but certain. Case in point: Congress is mulling abolishing gift and estate taxes as part of tax reform. So how can people who hope to still have long lifespans ahead of … Continued

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You and Your Life Insurance

Who should own your life insurance policy? If you own life insurance policies at your death, the proceeds will be included in your taxable estate. Ownership is usually determined by several factors, including who has the right to name the beneficiaries of the proceeds. The way around this problem is to not own the policies … Continued

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How to Handle a Second Marriage in Your Estate Plan

Update your estate plan to reflect your second marriage If you’re in a second marriage or planning another trip down the aisle, it’s vital to review and revise (if necessary) your estate plan. You probably want to provide for your current spouse and not inadvertently benefit your former spouse. And if you have children from … Continued

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Legacy Planning – Dynasty Trusts

A dynasty trust keeps on giving long into the future With a properly executed estate plan, your wealth can be enjoyed by your children and even their children. But did you know that by using a dynasty trust you can extend the estate tax benefits for several generations, and perhaps indefinitely? A dynasty trust can … Continued

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Charitable Giving Options

A charitable remainder trust can provide a multitude of benefits If you’re charitably inclined but concerned about having sufficient income to meet your needs, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) may be the answer. A CRT allows you to support a favorite charity while potentially boosting your cash flow, shrinking the size of your taxable estate, … Continued

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Deferral of Estate Taxes for Small Business

Estate tax relief for family businesses is available … in the form of a deferral If a substantial portion of your wealth is tied up in a family or closely held business, you may be concerned that your estate will lack sufficient liquid assets to pay federal estate taxes. If that’s the case, your heirs … Continued

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