Estate and Tax Planning Opportunities Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

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

June 20, 2018 at 1:30 PM

Given recent changes to the tax code, it’s very likely your clients have questions about their existing estate planning strategies. Of course, having a thorough understanding of these changes will help you identify issues in their current plans. But perhaps more important, you’ll be able to identify unique estate and tax planning opportunities under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

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Topics: Estate Planning

Trends in Estate Planning: How Safe Are Irrevocable Trust Assets?

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

March 14, 2018 at 1:30 PM

One of the primary goals of estate planning is to minimize income and estate taxes while efficiently transferring wealth to the next generation. An oft-used means of achieving this goal is the irrevocable trust, which removes transferred property from the grantor's estate. But just how safe are irrevocable trust assets?

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Topics: Estate Planning

Trust Planning and IRAs: Helping Your Clients Safeguard Their Assets

Posted by Whitney Drechsler, JD

March 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM

The Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Clark v. Rameker (2014) had a rippling effect on the financial planning industry and the way advisors address IRA beneficiary designations. The ruling determined that inherited IRAs are not “retirement funds” under federal bankruptcy law, which means that, unlike with retirement accounts, these assets are accessible by potential creditors. This precedent-setting decision continues to have a meaningful effect on estate planning strategies for IRAs.

To guide you through this area of asset protection planning, I’ll discuss the impact this ruling has had on trust planning and IRAs, as well as how you can help your clients safeguard their assets and accomplish other estate planning objectives.

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Topics: Estate Planning

The SmartIRA™—An Easy Way to Name a Trust as an IRA Beneficiary

Posted by Heather Zack, JD, LLM, CAP

January 9, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Beneficiary designations are vital in executing a client’s estate plan, and an advisor’s understanding of all the beneficiary options available is equally as important. When a client names his or her spouse or children as beneficiaries of an IRA, most advisors are comfortable with the options those beneficiaries will have when it comes time for them to receive assets and take required minimum distributions (RMDs). Things become far less clear, however, when a client wants to break from the norm and use a more complex beneficiary designation—particularly naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary.

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Topics: Estate Planning

New Portability Rules for Estate Taxes: A Simplified Opportunity

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

November 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Looking for a way to help clients simplify their estate taxes, especially after the death of a spouse? The IRS’s new portability rules for estate taxes may be just the opportunity your clients need. The agency’s recently released Revenue Procedure 2017-34 allows for a deceased spouse’s unused exclusion amount to be transferred to the surviving spouse retroactively, offering the potential for substantial savings.

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Topics: Estate Planning

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