Six Big Mistakes When Choosing an Associate Attorney

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Although attorneys are trained in the technical aspects of the law, we haven’t been taught how to run a successful business, often relying upon trial and error as costly teachers. In the process of building my own practice, I have made each and every one of the following mistakes when hiring associate attorneys, so I am speaking to you from experience. Mistake #1: Focusing mainly on the associate’s law school, credentials, experience and technical expertise. As educated and experienced…

Making Meaning Out of Stock Market Noise…AGAIN

By Jason Oshins, Financial Advisor, MBA I’m a Yankees fan.  A proud one at that.  The Yankees have had measured success over the long term.  My favorite team of all time is the team that won the World Series in 1998.  They set a record for most games won that year—they won 114 games.  Do you also know what happened?  They lost 48 games!  Thirty percent of their games!  That’s a lot of games to lose… unless you view it within the context of how many they won. The market has experienced extreme volatility.  Sure, it doesn’t feel good, but…

ABA Heckerling Reports from the 2018 Heckerling Institute

For the past 19 years, the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law with the permission of the University of Miami School of Law, releases several extensive reports highlighting the various lectures and proceedings of the Heckerling Institute, one of the nation’s largest estate planning conferences, held every year in January. This past January 2018, marked the 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute.  To view, download and access these extensive reports, please click here to visit the ABA’s website. Further, at the above website, you can also access reports from prior Heckerling Institutes as well. We, at The…

FREE WEBINAR: Adding Business Planning To Your Estate Planning Practice

If you’re an estate planning attorney, you may have been struggling to figure out what’s the “next best thing” coming to you in your practice now that estate tax planning is (and has been for the last several years) effectively dead.  Business law is often an effective complement to an estate planning practice. The folks at WealthCounsel, LLC are hosting a free 60-minute webinar on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 10am Pacific Time (1pm Eastern Time) entitled, “Adding Business Planning To Your Estate Planning Practice” with speakers, Jeramie Fortenberry, J.D., LL.M. and Patrick Carlson, J.D., LL.M.   *NOTE: This program is sponsored…

The New IRC 199A Pass-Thru Business Deduction: Applying the 28.57% Magical W-2 Formula

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The greatest opportunity business owners received from the Trump Tax Act is the new IRC 199A pass-thru business deduction.  This deduction allows certain taxpayers to deduct 20% of their Qualified Business Income. However, not every taxpayer can receive this deduction, so estate planners have a huge opportunity to exploit the new statute by educating themselves with the details of the new statute. For a married couple with taxable income of no more than $315,000 and for an unmarried individual with taxable income of no more than $157,500, there are minimal rules and the…

The 10 Biggest Mistakes Estate Planning Attorneys Make – – Running Their Business!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Over the past 37+ years, I have been blessed with a successful estate planning practice, as well as with the opportunity to help many other attorneys build or improve theirs. Based on that real-world experience, I have compiled what I believe to be the ten most common mistakes that I’ve seen most estate planning attorneys making that keep them from enjoying more financial success and a better quality of life. Mistake #1: Not Thinking of Your Practice as a…

Trump Tax Act Restricts Deductibility of State Income Taxes: So What? Use a NING Trust

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The dust has settled.  The Trump Tax Act has been finalized.  Who stands to lose the most from the new tax rules?  Those who live in a state with a high state income tax.  That’s who. Prior to the Trump Tax Act, state income taxes paid were deductible against federal income tax.  However, the Trump Tax Act limits the amount of the federal income tax deduction for state income taxes paid, real property taxes paid and sales taxes paid to a cumulative (yes, cumulative!) total of $10,000 per year.  The $10,000 is used…

Tax Reform is Here: What You Need to Know to Advise Your Clients

By Jeramie Fortenberry, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation) Director of Education WealthCounsel, LLC The most significant tax reform package of this generation is now awaiting the President’s signature and is widely expected to be signed into law at any time. The new tax law changes the tax planning landscape, creating both pitfalls and opportunities for attorneys and the clients they serve. It is critical for business and estate planning attorneys to understand these changes and how they affect their clients. In this Thought Paper, Jeramie Fortenberry, JD, LLM, provides actionable guidance for planning under the new and different tax landscape. It includes…

Impact of Potential Tax Reform on Business Owners and Possible Steps to Take in 2017

By Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), CFP®, CM&AA® On November 2, 2017, the Speaker of the House, with the backing of the President, finally introduced the long-awaited bill that represents Republican efforts at comprehensive tax reform, to be titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”. Of course, the Senate will propose significant changes, and there is opposition from both parties about the direction of the bill and the trillions it could add to the national debt. That said, there is a very strong chance of something close to the bill being passed this year or early next year. What are…

Top 5 Dumbest Comments Made by Estate Planners

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Having practiced estate planning for more than two decades, I have seen and heard my share of comments and representations that are true head-scratchers that often make you roll your eyes.  This epidemic seems to have gotten much worse through the years, possibly because of the pressure to perform and thrive in a very competitive environment.  This article will highlight some of my favorites. DUMB COMMENT #1: “Bad facts make bad law!” The “bad facts make bad law” excuse has been around for many years.  Obviously, every case that has a result we…