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Get smart when tackling estate planning for intellectual property
If you’ve invented something during your lifetime and had it patented, your estate includes intellectual property (IP). The same goes for any copyrighted works. These assets can hold substantial value, and, thus, must be addressed by your estate plan. However, bear in mind that these assets are generally treated differently than other types of property. ...

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Will your estate plan benefit from a trust protector?
You may have several different types of trusts in your estate plan. In general, to achieve the greatest tax savings, these trusts must be irrevocable, thus requiring you to give up control over the trust assets. Even though you appoint a trustee to oversee distribution of the trust’s assets, you can go a step further ...

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Estate Planning in the Age of Coronavirus is Like a Vaccine.  It Must Be Administered IN ADVANCE.
The Coronavirus is a wake up call.  It should be considered a system check. State of the Union in Louisiana As of this writing, the Governor of Louisiana has ordered the closure of restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms, in addition to public school.  Colleges have closed their doors moving to remote / video classroom instruction.  ...

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An HSA can be a healthy supplement to your savings regimen and estate plan
Longer life expectancies and rising health care costs make saving for retirement more important than ever before. A Health Savings Account (HSA) can be a powerful tool for financing health care expenses while supplementing your other retirement savings vehicles. And it offers estate planning benefits to boot. What’s an HSA? An HSA is a tax-advantaged ...

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Have you coordinated your payable-on-death accounts with your estate plan?
Payable-on-death (POD) accounts provide a quick, simple and inexpensive way to transfer assets outside of probate. They can be used for bank accounts, certificates of deposit or even brokerage accounts in certain states. POD designation is NOT available for brokerage accounts in the State of Louisiana. Setting one up is as easy as providing the ...

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2 Trust Types to Consider when Estate Planning for a Blended Family
No one said estate planning is easy, and this is especially true if you have a “blended family.” The good news is that there are two trust types — a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust and an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) — that can provide for your children from a previous marriage while ...

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If you’re planning to move overseas, it’s time for an estate plan review
Whether you’re moving to another country for work-related reasons, retirement or simply want an opportunity to experience a new culture, it’s important to understand the potential tax and estate planning implications. If you don’t, you could be hit with some unpleasant surprises. Here are three possible pitfalls: Double taxation. If you’re a citizen of the ...

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Take steps to curb power of attorney abuse
A financial power of attorney can be a valuable planning tool. The most common type is the durable power of attorney, which allows someone (the agent) to act on the behalf of another person (the principal) even if the person becomes mentally incompetent or otherwise incapacitated. It authorizes the agent to manage the principal’s investments, ...

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Determining whether you need to file a gift tax return can be tricky
For 2020, the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption has reached a whopping $11.58 million ($23.16 million for married couples). As a result, few people will be subject to federal gift taxes. If your wealth is well within the exemption amount, does that mean there’s no need to file gift tax returns? Not necessarily. There ...

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Inheriting property? Be aware of the basis consistency rules
If you’re in line to inherit property from a parent or other loved one, it’s critical to understand the basis consistency rules. Current tax law, passed in 2015, provides that the income tax basis of property received from a deceased person can’t exceed the property’s fair market value (FMV) as finally determined for estate tax ...

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If you’re a non-U.S. citizen, the estate planning rules are different
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 may require additional planning. Defining “residency” and “domicile” If you’re a U.S. resident, but not a citizen, you’re treated similarly to a U.S. citizen ...

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Time passages: Estate planning through the years
Virtually everyone needs an estate plan, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Even though each person’s situation is unique, general guidelines can be drawn depending on your current stage of life. The early years If you’ve recently embarked on a career, gotten married or both, now is the time to build the foundation for your ...

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Use nongrantor trusts to bypass the SALT deduction limit
If you reside in a high-tax state, you may want to consider using nongrantor trusts to soften the blow of the $10,000 federal limit on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The limit can significantly reduce itemized deductions if your state income and property taxes are well over $10,000. A potential strategy for avoiding the ...

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Qualified Opportunity Funds: A new weapon in the estate planning arsenal
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new program to encourage investment in economically distressed areas through generous tax incentives. The Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) program relies on investments in Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) — funds that can provide wealthy taxpayers with some new avenues for estate planning. 3 big tax benefits Investors in ...

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IRS confirms large gifts now won’t hurt post-2025 estates
The IRS has issued final regulations that should provide comfort to taxpayers interested in making large gifts under the current gift and estate tax regime. The final regs generally adopt, with some revisions, proposed regs that the IRS released in November 2018. The need for clarification The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) temporarily doubled ...

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