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Building an On-Off Switch Into Your Estate Plan
The right estate planning strategy for you likely is the one that will produce the greatest tax savings for your family. Unfortunately, there can be tension between strategies that save estate tax and ones that save income tax. This is especially true now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled the gift and ...

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An ESOP Can Benefit a Business Owner’s Retirement and Estate Plans
Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) offer closely held business owners an exit strategy and a tax-efficient technique for sharing equity with employees. But did you know that an ESOP can be a powerful estate planning tool? It can help you address several planning challenges, including lack of liquidity and the need to provide for children ...

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Hastily Choosing an Executor Can Lead to Problems After Your Death
Choosing the right executor — sometimes known as a “personal representative” — is critical to the smooth administration of an estate. Yet many people treat this decision as an afterthought. Given an executor’s many responsibilities and complex tasks, it pays to put some thought into the selection. Job Description An executor’s duties may include: Collecting, ...

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Have You Had Your Annual Estate Plan Checkup?
An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan. 2019 vs. 2018 Amounts Here are a few key figures for 2018 and 2019: Lifetime Gift and Estate Tax Exemption ...

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If You’re Driven to Transfer a Vehicle’s Ownership to a Trust, Know the Risks
A revocable trust — often referred to as a “living trust” — can help ensure smooth management of your assets during life and avoid probate at death. And you may know that the trust isn’t effective unless you “fund” it — that is, transfer ownership of your assets to the trust. But what about assets ...

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A Prenup or a DAPT: Which is the Better Choice?
If you or one of your adult children is getting married, you may be concerned about protecting your family’s assets in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be an effective tool for overriding marital property rights and keeping assets in the family. But these agreements have disadvantages. For many families, a better ...

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DIY LOUISIANA WILL EXECUTION BACKFIRES (Notary Stamp Completely Invalidates Will)
“The views expressed by Me are in no way endorsed by CBS any of its allied companies or in fact Me.” ~Craig Ferguson Ms. Sandra Dale lived in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.  She loved East Feliciana Parish so much that she named her first born, Felicia Dale.  Sandra later had two more children, namely Christopher Dale and ...

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How Incomplete Nongrantor Trusts Can Help Avoid State Income Taxes
With the federal gift and estate tax exemption at $11.40 million for 2019, people whose estates are below the exemption amount are shifting their focus to income tax reduction. High-income taxpayers — particularly those who live in high-income-tax states — may want to consider incomplete nongrantor trusts, which make it possible to eliminate state taxes on ...

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Consider an Intrafamily Loan to Cover Estate Taxes
Sometimes estates that are large enough for estate taxes to be a concern are asset rich but cash poor, without the liquidity needed to pay those taxes. An intrafamily loan is one option. While a life insurance policy can be used to cover taxes and other estate expenses, a benefit of using an intrafamily loan ...

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Unleash the Power of a Nonspringing Power of Attorney
Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your children and your assets when you die. But it’s equally important to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. A crucial component of this plan is the power of attorney (POA) • specifically, a nonspringing ...

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Should You Name a Trust as IRA Beneficiary?
An IRA is a popular vehicle to save for retirement, and it can also be a powerful estate planning tool. Some people designate a trust as beneficiary of their IRAs, but is that a good idea? The answer: possibly. IRA Benefits The benefit of an IRA is that your contributions can grow and compound on ...

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Review and Revise Your Estate Plan to Reflect Life Changes During the Past Year
Your estate plan shouldn’t be a static document. It needs to change as your life changes. Year end is the perfect time to check whether any life events have taken place in the past 12 months or so that affect your estate plan. And the plan should be reviewed periodically anyway to ensure that it ...

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Intellectual Property Requires Careful Estate Planning
If your estate includes forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, it’s important to know how to address them in your estate plan. Although these intangible assets can have great value, in many ways they’re treated differently from other property types. 2 Estate Planning Questions For estate planning purposes, IP raises two ...

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Take Caution When Including Employees in Your Estate Plan
If you’re the owner of a small business, you may think of your tight-knit group of employees as a family. If you wish to include them as beneficiaries in your estate plan, it’s critical to be aware of possible unintended tax consequences. Unraveling the (Tax) Code Generally, money or other property received by gift or ...

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Tenancy-in-Common: A Versatile Estate Planning Tool
If you hold significant real estate investments, tenancy-in-common (TIC) ownership can be a powerful, versatile estate planning tool. A TIC interest is an undivided fractional interest in property. The property isn’t split into separate parcels. Rather, each TIC owner has the right to use and enjoy the entire property. TIC in Action An individual TIC ...

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