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Estate Planning

Income in Respect of a Decedent

September 25, 2017
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Taxpayers are generally required to recognize income for federal income tax purposes in the year in which it is received. If, however, someone dies before receiving income to which he or she is entitled, that income is not included on his or her final income tax return. Instead, such income, referred to as “income in…

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Selecting an Executor

February 13, 2017

What is an executor? An executor is a personal representative who acts for you after your death. You nominate or designate an executor in your will to settle your estate. The person chosen will act in your place to make decisions you would have made if you were still alive. The probate court has final…

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And Baby Makes Three

February 7, 2017
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So you’re going to have or adopt a baby. Congratulations! Parenthood may be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. As you prepare for life with your baby, here are a few things you should think about. Reassess your budget You’ll have to buy a lot of things before (or soon after) your…

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Setting and Targeting Investment Goals

July 4, 2016
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Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don’t take any money out until you’re ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you’re…

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Choosing a Beneficiary for Your IRA or 401(k)

February 19, 2016

Selecting beneficiaries for retirement benefits is different from choosing beneficiaries for other assets such as life insurance. With retirement benefits, you need to know the impact of income tax and estate tax laws in order to select the right beneficiaries. Although taxes shouldn’t be the sole determining factor in naming your beneficiaries, ignoring the impact…

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Estate, Gift, and GST Taxation and Trusts

January 11, 2016
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How are trusts treated for federal estate, gift, and GST tax purposes? A trust is created when you (the grantor) transfer property to a trustee for the benefit of a third person (the beneficiary). The act of transferring property to a trust is generally treated no differently than if it were transferred to an individual…

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Asset Protection in Estate Planning

August 14, 2015

You’re beginning to accumulate substantial wealth, but you worry about protecting it from future potential creditors. Whether your concern is for your personal assets or your business, various tools exist to keep your property safe from tax collectors, accident victims, health-care providers, credit card issuers, business creditors, and creditors of others. To insulate your property…

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June 1, 2015

What is a trust? A trust is a legal entity that is created when you transfer property to a trustee for the benefit of a third person. The trustee manages the property for the beneficiary in accordance with the terms and the instructions in the trust document. In legal terms, the trustee has legal ownership…

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Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)

May 29, 2015

A qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) offers an excellent opportunity for homeowners with taxable estates to minimize federal gift tax and avoid federal estate tax. What is a QPRT? A QPRT (pronounced “Q-Pert,” and sometimes referred to as a house GRIT) lets you give away your house, but still keep possession for a while. More…

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Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)

May 11, 2015

    One of the main reasons we buy life insurance is so that when we die, our loved ones will have enough money to pay off our remaining debts and final expenses. We also purchase life insurance to provide for our loved ones’ future living expenses, at least for a while. That’s why it…

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