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Is the “QTIP Trust” Right for Your Estate Plan?

September 17, 2019

As we’ve seen, it is easy to cut your estate taxes to zero, especially if you’re married. All you have to do is leave everything to your spouse. Your estate gets an unlimited marital deduction for all property left to your spouse. So having your spouse inherit everything eliminates taxes on your estate. Despite the […]

Supreme Court Shuts Down a State Scheme to Tax Out-of-State Trusts

September 17, 2019

States have been aggressively trying to expand their tax bases, and their efforts aren’t always successful. The U.S. Supreme Court recently shut down an attempt by North Carolina, which other states have fully or partially replicated, to impose income taxes on what are essentially out-of-state trusts. In the case, the trustee resided in Connecticut, the […]

How to Choose Between Wills and Trusts

January 23, 2019

There are two tools available for passing the bulk of your legacy to others, and the best choice for one person might not be a good choice for another. The foundation of your estate plan can be either a will or a trust, usually a revocable Living Trust. They’re not exclusive. Most estates have both […]

Avoiding the Major Mistake Made with Most Trusts

October 15, 2018

Many people leave money on the table and holes in their estate plans when they use the traditional approach to creating and planning trusts. The traditional approach is to name one trustee to manage every-thing about the trust. Sometimes this is a professional trustee, such as a bank or trust company, but it also could […]

The Charitable Remainder Trust: How to Protect & Stretch Your IRA

September 19, 2018

The number of people naming charitable trusts as IRA beneficiaries is climbing, and for good reasons. Typically, IRA beneficiaries are individuals, often the surviving spouse or the adult children of the owner. The goal often is to create a Stretch IRA, with the beneficiary taking only required minimum distributions (RMDs) each year so the tax-deferred […]

Estate Planning Without Wills & Trusts – Part 2

July 20, 2018

In Part 1 of this article, I shared some of the avenues through which you can ensure transfer of assets without the need for wills and trusts. So this week, let’s continue the discussion with more ways to avoid probate and transfer property… starting with: Bank accounts. Though once obscure, payable on death (POD) bank accounts […]

estate planning

How to Manage Your Estate Planning without Wills, Trusts, and Probate

July 13, 2018

You might be surprised to learn that many Estate Planning goals can be accomplished without wills and trusts. In fact, using other tools can spare you some of the expense and complications of wills and trusts. These strategies also cause the assets to avoid the delay and expense of probate, transferring the title of each […]

4 Trusts That Still Improve Your Estate Plan after Tax Reform

May 22, 2018

Why bother with trusts when less than 1% of estates will pay estate or gift taxes? Many people are understandably, but mistakenly, thinking that way. Traditionally, tax savings were the primary reason to use trusts. But in 2018, individual estates worth up to $11.18 million are exempt from estate and gift taxes. Thanks to the […]


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