An Estate Planning Checklist for Advisors

Posted by Justin C. Duft, JD, CFP, CLU, ChFC, CLTC

April 2, 2019 at 10:00 AM

A plan to distribute wealth, just like a plan to accumulate it, must be tailored around your client's unique situation, goals, and needs. As the trusted advisor, you're well positioned to oversee all elements of your client's plan to help ensure the distribution of assets according to his or her wishes—and at the lowest possible cost. That involves a sometimes overwhelming amount of information and documents to keep track of, so what follows is an estate planning checklist to guide your conversations with clients and to help ensure that you've covered all the details in their plans.

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Topics: Financial Planning, Estate Planning

Estate Planning with Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts

Posted by Whitney Drechsler, JD, LLM, CFP

March 27, 2019 at 1:30 PM

Estate planning with intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs)—despite the name—has many advantages. In fact, this well-established technique isn’t defective at all; the term “defective” describes the effect of income taxation rules on these instruments. Here, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of IDGTs, including how they can be very tax “effective” for estate tax purposes.

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Topics: Estate Planning

Should Some Clients Self-Insure for Long-Term Care?

Posted by Ethan Young

March 26, 2019 at 10:00 AM

According to conventional financial planning, it’s important for high-net-worth individuals to self-insure for long-term care expenses. At Commonwealth and Ash Brokerage, our insurance partner, we would agree that while there's some truth to this idea, most clients (including high-net-worth ones) should consider transferring the risk of long-term care. But that's not to say it's right for every high-net-worth client.

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Topics: Risk Management

8 Potential Risks in Your Financial Advisory Practice

Posted by Bette Skandalis

March 20, 2019 at 1:30 PM

Business risk is anything that threatens the continued success of your practice, and it can assume many forms. Unfortunately, many business owners overlook the potential risks that can derail a long-standing business. Why? Generally because they don’t understand the risk, don’t feel the risk is severe, or don’t believe it will happen. But what if it does?

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Topics: Practice Management, Risk Management

Fighting Elder Financial Abuse—the Crime of the 21st Century

Posted by Heather Murphy

March 19, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Elder financial abuse has been called the crime of the 21st century for good reason. The North American Securities Administrators Association estimates that each year, $37 billion is stolen from seniors by unknown bad actors as well as by family members, friends, and others in a position of trust. And that number could grow—according to the Social Security Administration, as of September 2018, the average life expectancy for a man turning 65 today is 84.3 years, and the life expectancy for a woman the same age is 86.7. As the number of older Americans increases, so does the number of targets for financial exploitation. So, how can we, as financial professionals in a position of trust, help protect our clients?

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Topics: Financial Planning

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