Vanishing Premiums Explained

Bob Cohen / March 23, 2016
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Many insured’s are confused and angered when the premiums of their “vanishing premium” life insurance policy, either don’t vanish or reappear at a later date.  If the policy was promoted and sold on a “vanishing premium” basis they ask, then “why am I still writing checks?”  The answer is very simple though not always properly […]

The Power to Revoke at Any Moment

Sarah Sicheneder / March 17, 2016
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A popular saying goes “bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”  Estate planners cannot rely on such platitudes.  It is our job to fix bad planning especially in emergency situations which often involve quickly revoking one or all prior estate planning documents.  This article provides guidance on revoking the […]

Spectrum of Withdrawal Limitations

Manish Bhatia / February 26, 2016
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The phrase “control from the grave” is often used to describe withdrawal limitations on an individual’s inheritance.  These provisions direct or require a beneficiary to reach certain benchmarks before a trustee can permit a withdrawal.  While some grantors (the creator of the trust) may be motivated by control, simpler withdrawal limitations can provide significant asset […]

David Bowie’s Estate Plan

Jamie Held / February 19, 2016
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It has been reported that David Bowie’s estate plan consists of a 20 page Will that was originally filed in 2004.  It splits the majority of his estate, estimated at $100 million, between his wife, daughter and son. And includes smaller, yet substantial gifts for his personal assistant ($2 million) and one-time nanny ($1 million). […]

What’s in a Name

Bob Cohen / February 5, 2016
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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
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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
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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 Missing Will

Manish Bhatia / January 11, 2016
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The Missing Will Do you know where your original Will is located? You should, and so should your executor. The dilemma of a missing original Will has come up in the death of Melissa Mathison, screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and ex-wife of Harrison Ford. Mathison died on November 4th as a resident of […]

Inflation Adjustments for Estate and Gift Tax Annual Exclusion Amounts

Jamie Held / January 10, 2016
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In case you missed Internal Revenue Bulletin 2015-44, the 2016 inflation adjustments pertaining to estate planning are as follows: The gift tax annual exclusion remains at $14,000 for gifts made in 2016. The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption is $5,450,000 for transfers made in 2016. The unified estate and gift tax exclusion amount is $5,450,000 for gifts […]

The Right Way to Inherit

Manish Bhatia / December 20, 2015
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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 […]

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