Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Estate Planning Basics

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estate planning

Four Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

January 1, 2007

Estate Planning and tax reduction will be returning to the front burner for many people. Congress was unable to pass a permanent estate tax reduction in 2006, and the makeup of the new Congress makes permanent repeal of the estate tax unlikely. Any permanent change in the estate tax exclusion could be less generous than […]


Private Annuity Trusts: New Rules

December 1, 2006

Just as last month’s discussion of private annuity trusts was mailed, the government issued proposed regulations restricting the strategy. Though intended to stop transactions considered by the IRS to be abusive of the tax law, the regulations go further and make private annuity trusts generally unattractive. Recall from last month’s discussion that a private annuity […]


Building the Legacy Plan

December 1, 2006

What is your legacy plan? Most people are familiar with estate plans. The goals of the estate plan are to ensure that assets are transferred to the people you want in the most efficient manner, that is with the smallest burden in taxes and other expenses. The standard estate plan includes a will, a financial […]


How Simple Planning Can Avoid Family Dramas

November 1, 2006

A family drama has been playing out in the pages of major New York newspapers. The stories revolved around 104-year-old Brooke Astor, an heir of perhaps the first “richest man in America,” John Jacob Astor. The story became public when her grandson sought to have his father removed as caregiver and guardian, claiming that his […]

Estate Planning

New Estate Planning Rules on IRAs and Trusts

November 1, 2006

The IRS recently made it easier to use a trust with your IRA to protect assets for future generations. You still should use an Estate Planning attorney to ensure things are done properly, but the new ruling adds more certainty than we had in the past. The type of trust people most often want to […]

Estate Planning

How to Help Grandkids Stay Solvent

October 1, 2006

In last month’s visit we discussed how to educate children and grandchildren to start them on the road toward financial independence. This month, let’s discuss how to help youngsters who already are in the working world and perhaps have started to dig themselves into that financial hole of high debt in which so many people […]


Why You Must Give Charitable Gifts Early

September 1, 2006

This newsletter long has been a proponent of making estate planning and charitable gifts early, if the giver can afford to. Recently, this approach was endorsed by Warren Buffett, with his widely-publicized plan to give most of his fortune to a series of foundations in coming years. Buffett actually has been behind the curve. The […]


IRS Pursues Non-Filers of Estate and Gift Tax Returns

September 1, 2006

The IRS believes that nonfilers of estate and gift tax returns are a major cause of the “tax gap” between taxes legally owed and those actually paid. From 1995 to 2000, estate tax returns filed increased from 86,000 to over 123,000. In 2004, only 74,000 estate tax returns were filed. The IRS is undertaking a […]

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