Articles & Information

Your Original Will: Does Your Family Know Where To Locate It?

Posted On: May 18th 2018

In a world that’s increasingly paperless, you’re likely becoming accustomed to conducting a variety of transactions digitally. But when it comes to your last will and testament, only an original, signed document will do. A Photocopy Isn’t Good Enough Many people mistakenly believe that a photocopy of a signed will is sufficient. In fact,…

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Provide For Your Spouse, Then Your Kids, With A QTIP Trust

Posted On: May 16th 2018

If you want to preserve as much wealth as possible for your children, but you leave property to your spouse outright, there’s no guarantee your objective will be met. This may be a concern if your spouse has poor money management skills or if you two don’t see eye to eye on how assets should…

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Beware IRD If You’ve Received An Inheritance

Posted On: May 3rd 2018

Most people are genuinely appreciative of inheritances. But sometimes it may be too good to be true. While inherited property is typically tax-free to the recipient, this isn’t the case with an asset that’s considered income in respect of a decedent (IRD). If you inherit previously untaxed property, such as an IRA or other retirement…

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4 Estate Planning Techniques for Blended Families

Posted On: April 28th 2018

Today, it’s not unusual for a family to include children from prior marriages. These “blended” families can create estate planning complications that may lead to challenges in the courts after your death. Fortunately, you can reduce the chances of family squabbles by using estate planning techniques designed to preserve wealth for your heirs in the…

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A Total Return Unitrust Can Help Maintain Family Harmony

Posted On: April 26th 2018

A traditional trust can sometimes create a conflict between the lifetime and remainder beneficiaries. For example, investment strategies that provide growth that benefits remainder beneficiaries can leave lifetime beneficiaries with little or no annual payouts. This makes it more difficult for your estate plan to achieve your objectives and places your trustee in a difficult…

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You Haven’t Created A “Road Map” For Your Estate Plan

Posted On: April 23rd 2018

No matter how much effort you’ve invested in designing your estate plan, your will, trusts and other official documents aren’t enough. You should also create a “road map” — an informal letter or other document that guides your family in understanding and executing your plan and ensuring that your wishes are carried out. Your road…

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Adequate Disclosure: Why You Should File Gift Tax Returns Even If They’re Not Required

Posted On: April 21st 2018

Whenever you transfer property to another person — especially a family member — consider filing a gift tax return, even if it’s not technically required. Why? Because a timely filed gift tax return that meets the IRS’s “adequate disclosure” requirements starts the clock on the statute of limitations. An Unexpected Tax Bill Generally, the…

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Foreign Financial Accounts: Don’t Overlook FBAR Requirements

Posted On: April 19th 2018

In recent years, the IRS and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) have stepped up their enforcement of foreign account reporting requirements. An important tool in this effort is FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Often misunderstood or overlooked, the FBAR can be a costly trap for the unwary. It…

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International Estate Planning: If You’re A Non-U.S. Citizen, The Rules Are Different

Posted On: April 17th 2018

Traditional estate planning strategies generally are based on the assumption that all family members involved are U.S. citizens. However, if you or your spouse is a noncitizen, special rules apply that require additional planning. Let’s take a look at how the rules change when one or more noncitizens are involved. Defining “Residency” and “Domicile”…

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You’re Transferring A Vehicle To Your Revocable Trust

Posted On: April 15th 2018

If you’re like many people, you use a revocable trust — often referred to as a “living trust” — to manage your assets during life and avoid probate at death. And you may know that the trust isn’t effective unless you “fund” it — that is, transfer ownership of your assets to the trust and…

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