Insight on Estate Planning - April/May 2015

Apr 06, 2015

Related Practice: Estate Planning & Administration

Here's a brief glance at what you'll find in the April/May issue...

Estate planning for personal property: Why you should sweat the small stuff

When planning their estates, most people focus on major assets, such as business interests, real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it's also important to "sweat the small stuff" — tangible personal property. This article discusses strategies on how to best distribute tangible personal property. Read more...

How flexible is your estate plan?

It's crucial to review and update an estate plan in light of significant life changes or new tax laws. It's equally important to create estate plan flexibility so that an estate's executor can make postmortem revisions. This article details postmortem estate planning strategies, such as using qualified disclaimers, spousal right of election and QTIP trusts. Read more...

Avoid state income taxes with an incomplete nongrantor trust

Now that the federal gift and estate tax exemption has reached an inflation-adjusted $5.43 million, many people are shifting their estate planning focus to income tax reduction. One potentially attractive strategy for high-income taxpayers, particularly those who live in high-income-tax states, is an incomplete nongrantor trust. This article details the pros and cons of an incomplete nongrantor trust. Read more...

Estate Planning Pitfall: You haven't named backup beneficiaries

To ensure that a person's wealth is distributed according to his or her wishes, it's important to designate both primary and secondary (or "contingent") beneficiaries for a will, trusts, retirement plans and life insurance policies. This article illustrates, through a court case, what can happen when a person fails to name a backup beneficiary. Herring v. Campbell, No. 11-40953 (5th Cir. 2012). Read more...

The ABLE Act of 2014: A New Way to Save for Beneficiaries with Special Needs

A recent expansion of Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code allows for savings plans be created for individuals with disabilities, using the framework already available for section 529 college savings plans. Like funds contributed to 529 college savings plans, funds contributed to 529 ABLE accounts will grow tax-free; additionally, these funds will not, as a general rule, interfere with beneficiaries' ability to qualify for federal benefits. Read more...

Click here to read the full newsletter

Click here to read more about how we can help you with your estate planning needs.