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Leave a philanthropic legacy with a charitable remainder trust
Let’s say you’re charitably inclined but have concerns about maintaining a sufficient amount of income to meet your current needs. The good news is that there’s a trust for that: a charitable remainder trust (CRT). This type of trust allows you to support your favorite charity while potentially boosting cash flow, shrinking the size of ...

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Is a self-directed IRA right for you?
Traditional and Roth IRAs can be powerful estate planning tools. With a “self-directed” IRA, you may be able to amp up the benefits of these tools by enabling them to hold nontraditional investments that offer potentially greater returns. However, self-directed IRAs present pitfalls that can lead to unfavorable tax consequences. Consequently, you need to handle ...

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Sec. 6166: Estate tax relief for family businesses
Fewer people currently are subject to transfer taxes than ever before. But gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes continue to place a burden on families with significant amounts of wealth tied up in illiquid closely held businesses, including farms. Fortunately, Internal Revenue Code Section 6166 provides some relief, allowing the estates of family business ...

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The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years
Traditionally, trusts used in estate planning contain “Crummey” withdrawal powers to ensure that contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. Today, the exclusion allows you to give up to $15,000 per year ($30,000 for married couples) to any number of recipients. Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has reached an inflation-adjusted $11.4 ...

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When it comes to asset protection, a hybrid DAPT offers the best of both worlds
A primary estate planning goal for most people is to hold on to as much of their wealth as possible to pass on to their children and other loved ones. To achieve this, you must limit estate tax liability and protect assets from creditors’ claims and lawsuits. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces or ...

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Control how your charitable gifts are used by adding restrictions
If philanthropy is an important part of your estate planning legacy, consider taking steps to ensure that your donations are used to fulfill your intended charitable purposes. Outright gifts can be risky, especially large donations that will benefit a charity over a long period of time. Even if a charity is financially sound when you ...

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Take intrafamily lending to the next level by establishing a family bank
One of the primary goals of estate planning is to put in writing how you want your wealth distributed to loved ones after your death. But what if you’d like to use that wealth to help a family member in need while you’re still alive? One way to do so is through intrafamily lending. If ...

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Expanded 529 plans offer unique estate planning benefits
If you’re putting aside money for college or other educational expenses, consider a tax-advantaged 529 savings plan. Also known as “college savings plans,” 529 plans were expanded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to cover elementary and secondary school expenses as well. And while these plans are best known as an educational funding ...

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A poorly worded apportionment clause can upend an estate plan
Federal estate tax liability is no longer an issue for many families, now that the gift and estate tax exemption stands at $11.4 million for 2019. But there are still affluent individuals whose estates may be subject to hefty estate tax bills. If you expect your estate to have significant estate tax liability at your ...

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Understanding the contents of a will
You probably don’t have to be told about the need for a will. But do you know what provisions should be included and what’s best to leave out? The answers to those questions depend on your situation and may depend on state law. Basic provisions Typically, a will begins with an introductory clause, identifying yourself ...

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What’s The Difference Between The Two Types of Power of Attorney?
When drafting your estate plan, you and your attorney must account for what happens to your children and your assets after you die. But your plan must also spell out your wishes for making financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. A crucial component of this plan is the power ...

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Naming A Trustee May Be One Of The Most Important Decisions Of Your Life
When it comes to estate planning, trusts are appealing for many reasons. They can enable you to hold and transfer assets for beneficiaries, avoid probate and reduce estate tax exposure. But they can be complicated to set up. One of the major decisions you’ll need to make when establishing a trust is who will act ...

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A buy-sell agreement can provide the liquidity to cover estate taxes
If you own an interest in a closely held business, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement. Without one, an owner’s death can have a negative effect on the surviving owners. If one of your co-owners dies, for example, you may be forced to go into business with his or her family ...

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Thinking about a Roth IRA conversion? Now may be the ideal time
Roth IRAs offer significant estate planning and financial benefits. If you have a substantial balance in a traditional IRA and are considering converting it to a Roth IRA, there may be no better time than now. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced individual income tax rates through 2025. By making the conversion now, ...

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Assets with sentimental value require extra planning
When planning your estate, you’re likely focused on major assets, such as real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it’s also important to “sweat the small stuff” — your tangible personal property. Examples include jewelry, antiques and photographs. These personal items — which often have modest monetary value but significant sentimental value — may be ...

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