Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tax Tasks to Complete Before the End of 2016 in Light of Trump's Election

Trump tax planIn light of Donald Trump’s election and his pre-election tax platform, you should consider several tax planning strategies as part of your year-end planning. McManus & Associates have listed the ten items below to complete before the end of 2016.

  1. Accelerate your income tax deductions.
  2. Postpone receipt of income.
  3. Do not buy any capital assets this year.
  4. Make gifts to charities and family foundations with appreciated assets.
  5. Harvest losses to offset capital gains.
  6. Establish and fund qualified plans.
  7. Identify assets and amounts to make proper GRAT distributions before April 17, 2017.
  8. Make annual exclusion gifts to chosen loved ones of $28,000 (per married couple).
  9. Make distributions of income from trust accounts and estate accounts to lower the income tax liability.
  10. Host annual meetings for your family office, partnerships and foundations.

 See Top 10 Tax Planning Tasks to Complete Before the End of 2016 in Light of President-Elect Trump’s Proposals, McManus & Associates, November 16, 2016.

Special thanks to Lauren DuBois (Media Inquiries, McManus & Associates) for bringing this article to my attention.  

November 17, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Guide to Surviving Spouse Rights in Florida

Ss rightsJeffrey Skatoff recently published an Article entitled, Guide to Surviving Spouse Rights in Florida, Florida Probate Lawyers (November 15, 2016). Provided below is a summary of the Article:

Florida law grants surviving spouses a number of important rights and benefits. With short deadlines in probate, it is important to effectively secure the rights of a surviving spouse within the timelines provided by statute to ensure the surviving spouse is protected and receives all he or she is entitled to under Florida law. The failure to meet one of the probate deadlines can cause a surviving spouse to lose one or more spousal entitlements.

November 15, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Survey Reveals Helpful Insights for the Future of Estate Planning

Estate planning3In recent findings by WealthCounsel, the Estate Planning Awareness Survey helped to reveal estate planning insights that will impact the legal industry on both the firm and client levels. Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) believe that estate planning is largely for the wealthy, and 49% report feeling that their assets are not worth enough to consider an estate plan. Subsequently, the survey report addressed some of the major reasons why Americans are not planning, including feeling that their assets are not worthwhile (37%) and that they are not wealthy enough (29%). Additionally, only 27% of participants have talked with family members about creating an estate plan. Perhaps, this misinformation stems from the fact that 53% reported that it was difficult to find an advisor they trust in helping out with their estate planning needs. This Survey insightfully brings attention to the need for improvement in America’s awareness and understanding of estate planning, allowing for future opportunities to extend services to all Americans in need of these services. 

See What Do Americans Think About Estate Planning?: Key Findings of WealthCounsel’s Inaugural Estate Planning Awareness Survey, WealthCounsel (2016).

Special thanks to Peter MacKellar (Vice President, Financial Services (Communication Strategy Group)) for bringing this article to my attention.  

 

October 21, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pete Weyrauch's Survivor Handbook

Survivor handbookPete Weyrauch, a retired brigadier general after 28 years of active duty, has developed the Survivor Handbook that is designed to:

  • Provide information on Advance Directives and record preferences for final arrangements so that family members are not required to make difficult decisions at a difficult time.
  • Provide consolidated information resources for timely notification of people and agencies affected by the death of a family member.
  • Provide consolidated information resources to facilitate continuation of routine and periodic household functions, e.g., payment of bills and management of accounts.
  • Provide a centralized place for historical information.

Over 2,500 hundred copies of the handbook have been provided to members of service clubs, business offices, church groups, and military organizations.

He does 90-minute presentations without charge and provides free electronic copies (email attachments) to those interested.

Contact Information:

512-869-2955 (H)

512-627-4340 (cell/text)

ptweyrauch@suddenlink.net

Download The Author - Flyer

September 11, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

ALI's Newest Forms in Estate Planning

ALIThe American Law Institute is now giving you access to online, editable forms drafted by the experts. Subscribe to a library of all the ALI CLE forms in this practice area for one low price.

There are several forms offered, including a Division of Charitable Remainder Trust After Divorce: A Model Memorandum; Modern Family Drafting and Planning (With Sample Provisions); Nuptial Agreement Forms and Lists for Estate Planners; and Planning for United States Clients with Foreign Property.

The total cost of the above forms if purchased individually: $57.00; but did you know that you can have them all for one low price?

Access all of the 326 forms in the ALI CLE Estate Planning Forms library, including those listed above, for one low annual price of $299.00.

September 11, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Tool for Portability

CalculatorThe Portability Calculator is a tool intended to help with making the decision of whether to elect portability. The Excel based program includes inputting information in a three-step process, which results in production of a memo based on input. Two packages are available, including the downloadable Standard Package priced at $495 and the CDRom Premium Package for $695.

See Donald Kelley, The Portability Calculator, Wealth Management, March 10, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

March 11, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

IRS Electronic Reading Room

BooksA quick reference list of tax guidance and information organized by categories is available via the IRS Electronic Reading Room. Resources available include:

  • Final, Temporary, and Proposed Regulations
  • Administrative Guidance Material
  • Private Letter Rulings
  • How to request a private letter ruling
  • And much more

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this resource to my attention.

December 4, 2014 in Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Online Estate Planning Tools

LaptopMany estate planning practice tools are available online, from articles on specific subjects to whole websites that serve as informational hubs. Both the Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section of the ABA and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel have websites with a wealth of information on estate planning topics. For more specific topic areas, articles can provide practice help for prenuptial agreements, intestacy, decanting, elder law, and a variety of types of trusts. The informative website on intestacy, mystatewill.com, provides state specific intestacy charts and calculators. A list of helpful articles and resources available online and organized by topic can be viewed here.

See Donald Kelley, Trusts and Estates Practice Resources on the Internet, Wealth Management, Nov. 11, 2014.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

November 21, 2014 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Resources for Succession Planning

Succession planning

Family business succession planning is an art form that requires a thorough knowledge of related tax and state business entity law as well as a sensitive understanding of the personal relationships among family members.  Below are internet sources on aspects of family business succession planning.

  • Choice of Entity. To understand why the entity involved was chosen and whether it should be converted to a different type of entity look at Jason Havens’ Partnership Choice of Entity outline.  This site compares general partnerships, limited partnerships, S Corporations and LLCs; listing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Family Business Succession Planning Generally. The Estate Planning for Family Business Owner coursebook library has several useful offerings addressing family business planning, including succession. Also, Transitions Dynamics, Inc. recommends conducting a pre-administration of the family succession plan, which they refer to as a “fire-drill,” to test whether an adequate succession plan is in place.
  • Other Online Resources. John L. Ward, Perpetuating the Family Business, focuses on saving the family business and the family that is in business together.  He stresses that basic conflicts between the family system and the business system must be resolved and suggests steps to that end. 
  • Family Dynamics. Fundamental to estate planning and business entity planning for families in business together is an understanding of the personal dynamics of the family situation.  See, G. LeVan, The Survival Guide for Business Families for an internet based resource on the subjective family relationships side of family business planning. 

See Donald Kelley, Online Resources for Business Succession Planning, Wealth Management, Aug. 13, 2014.  

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

October 2, 2014 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mental Incapacity Planning With State Specific PADs

Mental HealthPsychiatric Advance Directives (PADs) are useful tools to plan for mental incapacity, by not only naming a proxy that can speak on the person’s behalf but also by directing treatment decisions. However, all PADs are not created the same way. Some states require that a state specific PAD form to be used while others will recognize a general form. More information on PADs and access to PAD forms for a specific state can be found here.

See Linda Wasmer Andrews, A Guide to Psychiatric Advance Directives, CNN, Feb. 17, 2014.

September 9, 2014 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)