Ask These Questions Before Buying Life Insurance

The fourth quarter of the year is when life insurance sales kick into high gear. In many cases, life insurance is often sold as a tax savings plan, here are the questions you must ask before purchasing this important asset. The majority of this discussion involves the use of some form of “whole life” insurance […]

Estate Planning FAIL: Trusts Without Pour-Over Wills

  This is the first article in a new series by Probate Litigation  attorney Robert Sewell which will focus on “war stories” regarding common estate planning mistakes, as seen by a probate and trust litigator.  These stories are meant to serve as lessons for the average reader.  If you see the fact pattern below in your estate plan, […]

Thinking about gifting wealth before year end? See these articles on 2012 estate tax changes.

  BUILDING THE RIGHT TRUST Incentives, credits and deductions within the U.S. tax system are currently in the spotlight, and most advisors are aware that unprecedented exemptions for gift and estate taxes are set to expire on December 31. Less clear, however, is how families can manage their assets to capitalize on the credits before […]

Hidden Assets, Buried Gold, Stuffed Safes and Other Asset Protection and Estate Plans FAILS

The article below is by Attorney Mike King, and shares some detail on the legal issues surrounding intestate property and especially that which is “hidden” and undisclosed. My expectation is that this will be a common story for the next twenty years plus as many people who are currently accumulating and “hiding” assets like gold, jewels, […]

U.S. Citizen Thinking Of Expatriating? Important Articles on What it Means

Due to the nature of our practice with thousands of Americans we have safely helped use a variety of tools including offshore trusts in a safe and legal way, we get lots of questions about expatriation. Our position remains the same;  the best of usage of these tools is tax neutral and provides surety while allowing […]

An Improperly Cancelled or Lapsed Life Insurance Policy Can Lead to Taxable Income

A recent Tax Court decision, Estate of Feder, T.C. No. 1628-10, T.C. Memo. 2012-10, January 10, 2012, shows advisors that the Tax Court had no trouble ruling that the taxpayer, Yulia Feder, received taxable income on the lapse of her old Northwestern Mutual life insurance policy despite the fact that she did not receive any cash from the […]

Common Estate Planning Mistakes Made By Physicians

For most doctors, the second step taken in personal financial and legal planning after setting up retirement accounts is some basic estate planning, typically in the form of a will or a revocable living trust. Below are some of the common issues that negatively affect physicians and their families if not properly addressed. The good […]

Incomplete Gift Tax Reporting – A Common FATAL Asset Protection Flaw

RELYING ON GIFTING TO RELATIVES AND FRIENDS  (SEE ALSO FAILING TO ACT)  Transferring all of your assets to your spouse and/or children, especially after something has happened, will not protect your assets from a lawsuit. Even if it did protect those assets from your lawsuits, transferring your assets to your spouse and/or children opens up another Pandora’s […]

What You Must Know about Life Insurance Policy Conversions – Estate Planning

  The importance of working with legal and financial professionals that really do their homework is more important than ever before as Americans are taking estate planning seriously, reviewing the economic effieicney and being “pitched” a variety of options. Insurance expert Ed Hinerman shared some great tips and caveats with us below.  – Ike Devji   […]

Federal Estate Tax for 2010 – What you must KNOW and DO

What you need to know: The Congressional debate on estate tax legislation has been put on pause during its recess, allowing current legislation that repeals the federal estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes to take effect. What you need to do: Individuals should determine whether these changes will affect their estate planning and stay abreast of […]