What a Donald Trump Presidency Means for Estate Planning

By Jeramie Fortenberry, J.D. , LL.M. (Taxation) Executive Editor & Legal Education Faculty WealthCounsel, LLC In a surprising upset, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump defeated Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton on November 8, 2016, to become President-elect of the United States. Republicans maintained a majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives, creating alignment between the White House and Congress and paving the way for Republican-backed legislation. Given the emphasis on taxes by both the incumbent Republican leadership and President-elect Trump, significant tax reform is more likely now than it has been in recent years. Trump’s tax plan is largely…

2016 WealthCounsel Symposium Debrief

By Kristina Schneider, Executive Director It’s Tuesday, October 25, 2016 and I just returned to the office from the 2016 WealthCounsel Symposium in Washington, D.C.  The annual conference for WealthCounsel is always one that is a bit personal to me, as it was the conference I first attended a week after Phil hired me back in July 2004.  It’s always fun to see familiar faces and to be around the very people that we help throughout the year.  As an internet-based company, it’s pretty rare that we have face-to-face contact and most of all of my contact with our customers…

You, Inc.: Branding Yourself in a Competitive Estate Planning Industry

Download Printable Article By Steven J. Oshins Esq., AEP (Distinguished) We are Brands Whether you are an attorney, a CPA, a trust officer or a financial advisor, you are who people think you are.  Public perception is often more important than reality, at least in regard to the business you generate and the advisors and clients who contact you. You could be the smartest advisor in the world, but if nobody knows it then you won’t get the types of clients that you should be getting.  We’re all brands, whether we like it or not.  Other advisors think of us…

David vs. Goliath: How Nevada Became a Leading Trust Jurisdiction

Download Printable Article By Steven J. Oshins Esq., AEP (Distinguished) “Always remember…Goliath was a 40-point favorite over David.” -Shug Jordan (1910-1980), athlete and football and basketball coach Many years ago, Delaware was considered the go-to trust jurisdiction.  However, other jurisdictions enhanced their trust laws through the years, and the consensus now is that Nevada, South Dakota, Alaska and Delaware are the first-tier jurisdictions, at least in the minds of most trust practitioners. Delaware has always been the Goliath in the trust industry, whereas the other jurisdictions have served the role of David.  But Delaware has made less material enhancements to…

ASK THE EXPERT: Answers to Common Questions About IRA Trusts

Download the Full Printable Article By: The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. The IRA Inheritance Trust® (also known as a “Standalone Retirement Trust”, “IRA Beneficiary Trust” or just plain and simple “IRA Trust”) has now been around for over 10 years. The IRS approved this strategy in PLR200573044 and, even though, it’s been around for some time, it’s only now that so many estate planners are starting to implement and use this planning for their clients. Whether it’s fear of learning something new, not fully understanding or being clear about the benefits for using this trust strategy, or just not having…

The Most Effective Way to Handle the Price Objection

Download the Full Printable Article By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law If you were to ask most estate planning attorneys to narrow down the most common objection most people have about moving forward with their estate planning, price would definitely be on the top of the list. With the influx of cheap, online and do-it-yourself estate planning, living trusts have become a commodity and people are more price-sensitive than ever. While price may still be one of the main reasons a prospective client may choose…

ABA Heckerling Reports from the 2016 Heckerling Institute

For the past 17 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 2016, marked the 50th 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…

With Estate Tax Planning Basically Dead, Here’s a Trust You Should Be Selling to a Lot of Your Clients

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law It’s not a Living Trust (but it does have broad application). Nor is it an Asset Protection or Medicaid Trust (though it does have some asset protection features). And, thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision, this Trust has been made even better (or more valuable). Okay, here it is. The Standalone Retirement Trust (or “IRA Beneficiary Trust”, or, as I call it, the “IRA Inheritance Trust®”). It’s simply a trust that acts as beneficiary of a client’s IRAs…

My Spouse (or other loved one) is Heading Into a Nursing Home… What Should I Do Now?

Download Printable Article By Louis W. Pierro, Esq. If your estate planning clients are like mine, it takes time to educate them, and get them across the threshold, before they are willing to commit and pay the fees that you are looking to charge. On the other hand, by far the most motivated clients I have are those who are in crisis — they (or another family member) need nursing home care now, and are looking for help getting Medicaid, and saving some portion of their life savings. The value of our services is abundantly clear — and our clients…

The Hot, New Product to Sell to Your Clients: Medicaid Trusts

Download Printable Article By Louis W. Pierro, Esq. Asset protection planning has become a focal point for Trust and Estates attorneys, surpassing estate tax planning in many practices. Asset Protection Trusts (APT’s) take their names from being Domestic (DAPT’s) or Foreign (FAPT’s), but the largest market for asset protection planning is the middle class, with health care creditors posing the greatest risk. The most used APT is designed to qualify the Grantor for Medicaid, and is referred to as a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). In 1993, major federal legislation changed the rules regarding trust funds used by Medicaid applicants…