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National Estate Planning Awareness Week

Posted on: October 11th, 2012
Congress has designated the third week in October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week (October 15-21, 2012)....

Can You Trust Your Trust? Why an Online Will or Trust Could Be the Dumbest Mistake

Posted on: September 26th, 2012
In this article is a discussion of the hidden dangers of consumers using online legal forms, often referred to as “do it yourself (DIY) wills and trusts.” Hiersekorn notes at the end of his article that “You only get to use an estate plan once. If you screw it up, you’ll never know, but your family will.” ...

Romney Tax Returns Show Strategy for Moving Money to Kids

Posted on: August 29th, 2012
The couple created trusts as early as 1995, when Romney was building wealth as chief executive officer of Bain Capital LLC. They packed one for their children with investments that stood to appreciate and set up another for charity that provides a tax deduction and income. The candidate’s retirement account, valued at as much as $87.4 million, may benefit his heirs for decades. “It’s beneficial for your kids and grandkids to push the money downstream,” said David Scott Sloan, chairman of the national private wealth services estate-planning practice at the law firm Holland & Knight LLP in Boston. “The Romneys appear to be doing things that are similar to what other high-net-worth families do.” ...

Take Advantage of the $5.12 Million Dollar Gift Tax Exemption in 2012

Posted on: August 14th, 2012
There has been a lot of media coverage about the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire on December 31, 2012 and whether they will be extended for all taxpayers or if they will be discontinued for top earners. But not nearly as much has been said about the current estate and gift tax rates that are also due to expire on December 31. What we have for the next few months is an historic opportunity in estate planning. At the end of 2010, Congress put in place a two-year estate tax provision that included a huge gift no one had been expecting: a $5 million gift and estate tax exemption, the highest it has ever been. It was indexed for inflation for 2012, making it even higher—$5.12 million—but for this year only. ...

Blended Families Underscore the Need for Estate Planning

Posted on: June 27th, 2012
Anyone with children or modest assets should seriously consider some minimal estate planning, but the increasing number of blended families underscores the need for proper estate planning. Blended families can involve children from a prior marriage as well as joint children, sometimes joking referred to as “his, hers and theirs.” And blended families involve both younger and older couples, and nearly everyone in between. When the new spouse is significantly younger, this sometimes means that the older spouse’s children are close in age to the younger. These relationships can cause more than friction between the step-parent and step-children. ...

The Most Important Love Letters You’ll Ever Write?

Posted on: June 25th, 2012
Many Americans have the misperception that estate planning is simply preparing for one’s death and is only necessary for the affluent. To the contrary, estate planning is as much about passing values to loved ones as it is about passing material possessions. Thus it should come as no surprise that a February 16, 2012 Forbes article describes estate planning as the most important love letters you’ll ever write, encouraging readers to find inspiration in knowing that you are caring for the people and causes you love, even if you’re not here anymore. ...
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