Preparing Clients for a Quick Estate Planning Pivot

High-net-worth clients recognize that they need to be prepared for sudden changes in tax laws and market valuations. But in the face of political uncertainty and market volatility, it may be difficult to choose which assets to transfer into trust, or determine fair market value. Attorneys and appraisers may be backlogged with similarly situated clients. Here are some tips for setting up trusts for estate planning with flexibility to pivot quickly as possibilities turn to actualities. 1. Use “intentionally defective” … Continued

Building a SLAT in your estate plan

Spousal lifetime access trust, or SLAT, planning can provide powerful estate and tax planning opportunities – and perhaps one of the most popular techniques for married couples for the foreseeable future given the possible changes in the law post-election and to help pay for massive government bailouts due to the pandemic. The government raising revenue will be critical and ways to do so can include raising taxes, reducing federal estate tax exemption, increasing estate tax and other changes. SLATs are … Continued

How To Use Irrevocable Gift Trusts To Take Advantage Of Your Estate And Gift Tax Exemptions

Before the presidential election, many wealthy taxpayers were worried that a “blue wave” would mean a reduction of their $11.58 million estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions. That’s because the Democrats were expected to propose lowering those exemptions back down to the $3.5 million to $5 million range they were before President Trump signed the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Even though that blue wave was more like a blue ripple, it’s still possible that the Democrats could … Continued

Practical Estate Planning Tips That Are Often Overlooked

  So you have gone through all of the work to get your estate planning documents finalized, you have had your signing meeting with your attorney, and now it is time to celebrate that you are done, right? In most cases, the answer is not quite yet. There are few items that are often overlooked that are essential to truly finishing your estate plan. I have listed two of the most important items below: Check Your Beneficiary Designations – Immediately … Continued

Asset Selling to Reduce Estate Tax Exposure

  If you have an estate that may be subject to estate tax next year, particularly if the November election results in a greatly reduced federal estate tax exemption in 2021, now is the time to remove assets from your taxable estate if you can comfortably afford to do so. One of the most effective ways to do this is to sell assets in exchange for a very low interest promissory note.  We are currently experiencing historically low interest rates … Continued