Estate Articles Archive
- June 1, 2012 Clawback Debunkathon
Gift Tax Roundup of Recent Topics
“I should have been a pair of ragged claws. Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”
Shall donors exploit the $5-million gift tax exclusion ($5.12 million for 2012) before it expires? What strategies and considerations should planning professionals consider? And what about the potential “clawback” if exclusions are rescinded? Download File (91 KB, PDF)
- May 1, 2012 Asset Protection Jurisdictions Compared
Fine-tuning the DAPT, with Steve Oshins
“Creditors have better memories than debtors.”
Since 1997, 13 states have enacted laws permitting selfsettled trusts. Including Colorado, which has had a highly questionable statute on its books since long before the other states, there are a total of 14 states with some form of domestic asset protection trust (DAPT) laws. Download File (199 KB, PDF)
- April 1, 2012 Train Wrecks of Estate Planning
Chief Justice Burger, When Not To Adopt Your Girlfriend, and the Enigmatic Estate of Howard Hughes
A wise person once observed that a wreck on the shore serves as a beacon at sea. Perhaps the estate planning errors of others can also serve as instructive examples. But one must concede that the most egregious train wrecks of bad planning can be mesmerizing. Without further adieu, here is a collection of testators who left behind estates with notable errors, issues, and messes. Download File (77 KB, PDF)
- March 1, 2012 Recycling Wealth with Captive Insurance
Turbocharging Dynasty Trusts
Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in progress?
Estate planning with captive business insurance is a topic that would induce some people into a profound coma. Even some financial planners may be put off by such an esoteric risk management technique. In fact, a large number of financial planners have never encountered captive insurance and don’t know what it is. All that may be about to change. Download File (163 KB, PDF)
- February 1, 2012 Proposals Shape Estate Planning for 2013 - GRATs, RMDs and Clawbacks are in Play Robert L. Moshman, Esq.
“A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.”
—Benjamin Franklin Download File (77 KB, PDF)
- January 1, 2012 Doomsday Déjà Vu? Estate Planning for 2012 & Voices of 2011
“It is always darkest just before the day dawneth.”
—Thomas Fuller (1650)
Unbelievably, but in a cruel and completely unjustified instant replay of 2010, the current estate tax is
scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Again with the uncertainty. Again with the doomsday scenarios
(unlikely), the procrastinating politicians (a given), and the entire exercise in futility (a constant). Download File (89 KB, PDF)
- December 1, 2011 The Year in Review
Alacritously extricating ourselves from an excruciating 2011
“Great ideology creates great times.” – Kim Jong II (1941-2011)
The past year, 2011, was undoubtedly commendable in many respects that will become evident to historians someday…but for the rest of us, 2012 can’t arrive quickly enough. Download File (89 KB, PDF)
- November 1, 2011 Diagnosing the Physician’s Estate
Estate planning for medical professionals has evolved.
“By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too.” – William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
Medical professionals share certain traits and circumstances that affect wealth planning. A business owner, attorney, or other successful individual from a nonmedical field who has the same net worth and income level as a doctor may not necessarily have the same set of planning challenges. The arsenal of modern techniques can provide physicians with a variety of solutions. Download File (89 KB, PDF)
- October 1, 2011 Business Exit Strategies An interview with John H. Brown, Esq. Author of The Completely Revised How To Run Your Business So You Can Leave It In Style
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.” –Lou Gehrig, farewell address, July 4, 1939
Exiting on your own terms from any endeavor with strength and grace is a lofty ambition worth striving for. Inevitably, every business owner will one day leave the business behind, yet not every owner makes adequate
plans for succession. In fact, many business transitions are horrendous, protracted, caustic, destructive, and
expensive. Yet these tales are repeated time and again. It makes sense to plan for the inevitable. Just as
intelligent and considerate people plan their estates, wise business owners design plans for their professional exits. Download File (77 KB, PDF)
- September 1, 2011 Avoiding a GSTT Asteroid Revisiting a Dangerous Adversary: The Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
“It hit with the force of 10,000 nuclear weapons. A trillion tons of dirt and rock hurtled into the atmosphere, creating a suffocating blanket of dust the sun was powerless to penetrate for a thousand years. It happened before. It will happen again. It’s just a question of when.”
—From Armageddon (1998), a motion picture starring
Bruce Willis, in which an asteroid heads toward planet Earth. Download File (79 KB, PDF)
- August 18, 2011 Surviving the Great Consternation
Investing and Elder Care in the Age of Recession
“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.”
—Harry S. Truman
The time of the Great Consternation is upon us. The reality of the next potential recession has gripped the national psyche.
In summary: Our nation is grappling with economic woes, layoffs, the debt ceiling, gridlock, a downgraded credit
rating, and global market turmoil. Just toss in a dash of rioting in London for good measure and you have the
makings of quite an unpleasant stew. Download File (79 KB, PDF)
- August 12, 2011 Re-Nesting Your Estate
Selecting a strategic jurisdiction makes sense.
I'm the type of guy that likes to roam around I’m never in one place, I roam from town to town And when I find myself a-fallin’ for some girl I hop right into that car of mine and ride around the world Yeah, I’m the wanderer; yeah, the wanderer I roam around, around, around...
—Dion, “The Wanderer”
Where is the most advantageous jurisdiction for your estate? What results would justify uprooting one’s nest?
How would one go about selecting or accomplishing a change of domicile?
Within the United States, there are many locations with attractive features. Alaska has no income tax. Florida
has a homestead protection policy. Nevada has gone to great lengths to provide the best in asset protection
laws. Ohio has abolished its estate tax. New Hampshire is the most livable state (according to one survey).
Choosing a new location is not a simple matter. There are multidimensional factors, both financial and personal. Download File (76 KB, PDF)
- June 20, 2011 Evil Estates Deconstructed
The Search for Osama bin Laden’s Wealth
God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.
There is evil among us. Monsters walk the face of this earth. How does a nation of laws deal with the estate of a monster? What laws would restrict evil persons from profiting from their wrongful acts? Can civil claims be brought against a murderer’s estate? What burden of proof would apply?
And when good prevails over evil during life, will that triumph also govern the estates of evildoers? Specifically, can the estates and descendants of victims recover damages against someone such as Osama bin Laden? Download File (89 KB, PDF)
- April 1, 2011 Second-Guessing Life Insurance
Inside or Outside the Estate
There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? Woody Allen
“Yadda-yadda, blah-blah,” is what a lot of people register when presented with a description of life insurance…if you can even get them to listen. Yet life insurance inhabits asset portfolios and estate plans and remains directly in the mix of financial planning decisions and strategies. In light of recent estate tax changes and life expectancy rates, what is the modern role for life insurance? Download File (89 KB, PDF)
- March 1, 2011 Capital Gains Paradox
Have capital gains become a threatened and endangered species? Can the size of future estates be projected accurately? If an estate’s assets appreciate in value, which capital gains tax breaks apply? Which of those tax breaks will still be available five years from now? What does it all mean? Download File (78 KB, PDF)
The band is getting back together! No, we are not referring to the exciting possibility that the Swedish group ABBA (who broke up in 1982) might get back together, though Ladbrokes has posted odds of 66:1 that ABBA will perform at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in April. Download File (79 KB, PDF)
- December 31, 2010 2010 in Review: The Year of the Ginormous Loophole
Did you just hear something? Was that the sound of another volcanic eruption from Eyjafjallajokull? Was it a lingering echo of vuvuzelas from the World Cup of 2010? Or was it an enthusiastic cheer from the Bronx at the news that no estate tax would apply to the estate of billionaire George Steinbrenner? Download File (78 KB, PDF)
- December 6, 2010 Unbreakable Trusts, Invincible Estates; The Trend in Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
Which has the better defense, an armadillo or a turtle? Which discourages predators more, a skunk or a porcupine? Which has a greater intimidation factor, an octopus or a stingray? These defenses don’t translate exactly for humans in the financial arena, but there are lessons to be learned. Download File (80 KB, PDF)
- November 12, 2010 Resurrecting the $20-Million Estate; Don't Forget About the BDIT!
A sobering reality is confronting many Americans in general, Two limousines pull up alongside each other. The passengers roll down their windows. A bottle is exchanged. Is it Dom Perignon? Is it Grey Poupon? Or is it…Pepto Bismol? Download File (81 KB, PDF)
- November 5, 2010 The Unfortunate $20-Million Estate - When Things Go Wrong
A sobering reality is confronting many Americans in general, but there is a niche that has unique and serious planning problems—and we are not referring to all those who are going bankrupt, losing their homes to foreclosure, or filling out forms for unemployment benefits. Download File (81 KB, PDF)