Charitable Trusts

Is now the time for a charitable lead trust? Families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking advantage of a CLT currently are favorable. Although interest rates have crept up … Continued

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Protecting Your Retirement Account

Are your retirement savings secure from creditors? A primary goal of estate planning is asset protection. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you wind up with no wealth to share with your family. If you have significant assets in employer-sponsored retirement plans or IRAs, … Continued

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Estate Planning in Overland Park – Using Trusts to Guide Children

It’s a matter of principle — and trust — when using a principle trust For many, an important estate planning goal is to encourage their children or other heirs to lead responsible, productive lives. One tool for achieving this goal is a principle trust. By providing your trustee with guiding values and principles (rather than … Continued

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Estate Plans in Kansas City – Valuing Your Estate

Asset valuations and your estate plan go hand in hand If your estate plan calls for making noncash gifts in trust or outright to beneficiaries, you need to know the values of those gifts and disclose them to the IRS on a gift tax return. For substantial gifts of noncash assets other than marketable securities, … Continued

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Charitable Giving in Kansas City

If your estate plan includes charitable donations, be sure to discuss any planned gifts with the intended recipients. Some charities have policies of rejecting gifts that come with strings attached; they accept only unrestricted gifts. Others may not accept certain types of assets, such as real estate. If a charity rejects your gift, the property … Continued

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Legacy Planning – Paying for Grandchildren’s College

Grandparents often want to help finance their grandchildren’s education. A simple technique is to make tuition payments on behalf of your grandchild. So long as you make the payments directly to the educational institution, they avoid gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes without using up any of your $5.49 million gift or GST tax exemption or … Continued

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Understanding Portability

Computers and phones aren’t the only things that are portable today. The gift and estate tax exemption is also “portable” for married couples. Portability simplifies estate planning by allowing a surviving spouse to use the deceased spouse’s unused portion of the $5.45 million gift and estate tax exemption amount. This article explains how married couples … Continued

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What You Need to Know About Your Individual Retirement Account

Are you leaving your IRA to someone other than your spouse? An IRA can be a powerful wealth-building tool, offering tax-deferred growth (tax-free in the case of a Roth IRA), asset protection and other benefits. But if you leave an IRA to your children — or to someone else other than your spouse — these … Continued

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Using the “Titanic” Clause in Your Will.

We were recently interviewed for an online article on the wealth management website Investopedia. Whether you call it the Titanic clause or just a contingency clause, having a plan for all “what-ifs” is key.  Read more here. Why Your Will Needs a Titanic Clause, Investopedia.com    

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