Understanding the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion

With an eye toward reducing their potential federal estate tax, Malcolm and Helen began reviewing their estate plan. As they discussed options with their estate planning attorney, they learned about the annual gift tax exclusion. The Annual Gift Tax Exclusion According to current IRS guidelines, individuals may make gifts of up to $15,000 per person (as of 2018) every year without incurring any gift tax. This is Read More

Digital Currencies as Probate Assets

The personal representative of an estate has an important job. One of the most important parts of that job is locating and gathering probate assets. Finding a decedent’s car and house may not be hard, but what about items that are stored somewhere, such as personal property, cash or bitcoins? The job may be harder when treating digital currencies as probate assets. Planning ahead can make the job easier. What are Read More

Wealth Preservation Through Estate Planning

When you consider the goals of estate planning, typically people want to pass on their property and assets to their loved ones. People may preserve wealth by careful investments in rare coins, fine art, exclusive real estate, and other items estimated to maintain or increase in value. However, wealthy individuals may need innovative and comprehensive strategies designed with an eye toward wealth preservation through Read More

Standalone Retirement Trusts and Your IRA

Trusts generally consist of a grantor or settlor, a trustee, and at least one beneficiary. Every trust also has another characteristic – a purpose. Trusts may be established to save taxes, protect assets, provide for someone with special needs, or distribute wealth to current and future generations. For Standalone Retirement Trusts, the purpose is to serve as beneficiary for qualified retirement funds, including Read More

Aretha Franklin’s Estate Dilemma

In her long and illustrious career, Aretha Franklin hit many milestones:  first female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, winner of 18 Grammys and a host of chart-topping albums and singles. When she passed away on August 16, 2018, she was added to the long list of celebrities who failed to leave an estate plan. With an estate estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, it’s difficult to Read More

Why Do I Need Asset Protection?

Maybe you read an article about asset protection and want to learn more. Or maybe your attorney suggested you think about asset protection strategies. You are both curious and a little resistant. It may be hard to understand why you need asset protection. Understanding Asset Protection The first thing to remember is that assets need to be protected before any claims have been made. In fact, transfers made after a Read More

Best Places to Establish a Domestic Asset Protection Trust

You may wish to protect your property from divorces, civil judgments, and creditors. One possible way to accomplish this is to use a Domestic Asset Protection Trust. However, only a handful of states allow this type of trust, and their laws vary. It’s important to research the best places to establish a Domestic Asset Protection Trust before setting one up. Domestic Asset Protection Trust Trusts are sometimes used Read More

Coordinate Estate Plans and Wealth Management Strategies

Some things work together separately but are enhanced when merged. Take music and lyrics. You might enjoy listening to just the music of a piece. You could also read the lyrics like a poem. Separately, they work. But together?  Beautiful music! Estate planning and wealth management are similar. They serve separate purposes. However, if coordinated, estate planning and wealth management may bring about a better Read More