What’s in a Name

Bob Cohen / February 5, 2016

The life insurance industry has become increasingly complex. New and multiple policy types deliver both choice (a good thing) and complexity (not such a good thing) to your client’s decision-making. Policy names (Adjustable, Flexible and in my opinion, sometimes Combustible) are not helpful either. If I have a difficult time keeping up, I can’t imagine […]

Powers of Attorney: Underrated Estate Planning Documents

Manish Bhatia / January 25, 2016

Powers of attorney are very flexible documents used to reflect your wishes for decisions regarding your health care and control of your assets if you are ever unable to make those decisions yourself.  If you (the principal) are ever incapacitated, your powers of attorney dictate the individuals you have appointed to serve as your agent […]

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Using a Testamentary Letter to Explain Your Estate Plan

Robert Lynn / January 20, 2016

Your estate plan likely includes formal documents (a will, perhaps one or more trusts) that direct transfers of your property when you die. But those documents won’t identify each and every item to be transferred. Eventually, whoever settles your affairs will find a sentence in one of your documents such as “I leave the rest […]

The Right Way to Inherit

Manish Bhatia / December 20, 2015

While an inheritance is often considered a gift by the recipient, from a tax perspective, there optimal ways to inherit a retirement account. From the language used to designate the beneficiaries to important IRS-imposed deadlines, the manner in which a retirement account is inherited can significantly affect its value. If you are the beneficiary of […]

Excluded Assets for Medical Assistance: Burial Space and Burial Space Items

Jill Sauber / December 10, 2015

This article focuses on burial spaces, burial space items, and irrevocable insurance-funded burial agreements. There are various types of burial agreements, but only one type of burial agreement is discussed below because of the potential to exclude the entire amount for MA purposes if it is properly written. Medical Assistance (MA) is a means-tested program […]

DWI’s – The Devastating Impact on the Defendant

James Gempeler / November 9, 2015

DWI’s are much more common than you may think. In fact, someone within your group of friends and/or family likely has a DWI, even if you don’t know about it. And let’s be clear, getting a DWI doesn’t make someone a criminal or even a bad person. In all likelihood, it was a mistake, a […]

Donor Advised Funds go Mainstream

Nick Scheibel / October 22, 2015

In the four years since this site last addressed Donor Advised Funds, this tax planning tool has grown significantly in popularity. Between 2011 and 2013, total assets in Donor Advised Funds grew from $38 billion to almost $54 billion, and the trend doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. While many advisors consider […]

Succession Planning for Your Company and Your Retirement

Aaron Hall / August 6, 2015

You have built a successful company. Now you are starting to think about the potential for retirement. Retiring is a bit more complicated when you own the company. Your reputation, core values, personality, and relationships have been integral to growing a successful company. Here is a process to begin outlining your succession plan. Are you […]

The Bank of Mom and Dad: A Guide to Intra-Family Loans

Diana Ringuette / July 27, 2015

We’ve all heard jokes about taking a loan from the Bank of Mom and Dad. What you might not know is that intra-family loans can be a great way to transfer significant wealth and avoid gift (or estate) tax liability. While an intra-family loan requires some upfront structuring and down-the-road diligence, the benefits are real. […]

Carrier Errors: The Importance of Life Insurance Policy Review

Bob Cohen / July 23, 2015

In a previous post, I discussed the importance of having a life insurance policy analysis done on a regular basis. I was recently reminded of the importance of policy reviews when I received correspondence from a life insurance carrier whose policy expenses exceeded what was necessary to support the death benefit. Though the mistake was […]