Estate Analyst—Clark v. Rameker: No Bankruptcy Exemption for Inherited IRA

By Robert L. Moshman, Esq. It is not often that the Supreme Court provides a clear rule on any aspect of financial planning (or even graces our niche with a passing reference), so these occasions call for special attention. On June 12, 2014, the Supreme Court’s decision in Clark v. Rameker clarified that an inherited IRA is not a protected retirement fund for bankruptcy purposes. Here, we analyze the decision and its impact on planning issues and review the applicable rules and caveats that apply to inherited IRAs. Note: The following discussion of IRAs is about traditional tax-deferred IRAs only…

Estate Planning for the Middle Class: Overcoming Myths with Reality

By Matthew D. Blattmachr, CFP®, Trust Officer, Alaska Trust Company | Volume 2, Issue 5 (May 2014) Here are a few common misconceptions (or objections) people have about estate planning and trusts – – and how to overcome them. Myth #1: Estate Planning is only important for the very wealthy. Reality: Every client needs some kind of estate plan, because everyone has an estate. The size of your estate does not dictate whether or not you need a plan, but rather what plan you need. If clients don’t create a specific plan, then the state is more than happy to…

The Top Four Mistakes Individual Trustees Make

By Mark Dreschler, CFP®, President & CEO at Premier Trust and Deborah Erdmann, QKA, CISP, Vice President & Trust Officer at Premier Trust | Volume 2, Issue 4 (April 2014) Whatever your connection with a trust, whether it is as an attorney, trustee, beneficiary, trust creator or financial advisor, you need to be aware of the top four mistakes that can derail financial goals and tear families apart. This article is based on the experiences of our trust company’s team members, now more than 38 strong, with more than 150+ years combined experience dealing with estates and trusts of all…

Training on Standalone IRA Beneficiary Trusts

We are holding one of our most popular technical training teleconferences on the IRA Inheritance Trust® tomorrow with our President, estate planning attorney and IRA Inheritance Trust® creator, Philip Kavesh. This teleconference is always one of our most well-attended and popular programs for those looking to add this unique and niche area of planning to their estate planning practice. See below for more information: The Traps and Tricks of Properly Drafting IRA Trusts Speaker: Philip Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, CA State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Time: 9am…

Understanding Portability

By Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP (Distinguished) | Volume 2, Issue 3 (March 2014) An interesting provision within the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (“2010 Tax Relief Act”) allows an executor of an estate of a married decedent the option to transfer any unused estate tax exemption amount to the surviving spouse.[1] Thus, for example, if a decedent used only a portion of his or her estate tax exemption, the estate could elect to have the remaining portion pass to the surviving spouse, giving the surviving spouse a larger estate tax exemption.[2] Although this portability…

Top Ten Reasons Why People with Even Modest Estates Need Estate Planning

By Heidi C. Freeman, J.D. | Volume 2, Issue 1 (January 2014) The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (actually passed on January 1, 2013), permanently increased the gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions to $5 million per person.  In 2014, adjusted for inflation, the amount is actually $5.34 million per person ($10.68 million for a married couple).  Due to the increased exemption amounts and the addition of portability, significantly fewer clients are in need of transfer tax planning.  This article provides ten reasons why clients who do not have a transfer tax concern still have compelling estate planning…

2013 Year-End Tax Planning Ideas (Part 3)

By Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP (Distinguished) As we near the end of 2013, year-end tax planning again takes center stage. In the last two newsletters we covered two of the most important year-end planning strategies in detail—loss harvesting and Roth IRA conversions. In this newsletter we summarize a number of other strategies that may produce substantial tax savings. Making Trust Distributions The tax brackets for trusts are much more compressed than the tax brackets for individuals. Trusts begin being taxed at the top rate of 39.6% when income rises above $11,950. By contrast, individuals filing joint returns don’t…

The Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust (“JEST” Trust) Legal Document Form Package—NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE

Thanks to the help of Alan S. Gassman, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates and Christopher J. Denicolo, J.D., LL.M. (Estate Planning), MBA, we are pleased to announce the release of The Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust (“JEST” Trust) Legal Document Form Package. This package comes complete with the following items: Data CD-ROM containing the following documents: The JEST Trust (Joint Trust) Legal Document Form which comes in a 66-page modifiable Microsoft Word document with all of the necessary provisions to implement the JEST Trust for your clients. A Client Explanation Letter to be…

Maximizing IRAs Using Trusts: Kavesh Technique Anticipates Boom by Robert L. Moshman, Esq.

Reproduced with the expressed written consent and permission from Robert L. Moshman, Esq., author of the The Estate Analyst. To contact Bob Moshman to be included on his distribution list of his monthly newsletter, e-mail Bob at bmoshman@optonline.net. A Baby Boomer with an otherwise unremarkable estate could leave behind a supercharged IRA that empowers beneficiaries. Philip J. Kavesh, a veteran estate planning attorney who has trained thousands of financial professionals, took part in designing the IRA Inheritance Trust® and successfully obtained a Private Letter Ruling for the technique in 2005. Although several variations of “stretch-out” or “see-through” trusts have performed…

Planning for Clients with Chronic Illnesses

Reproduced with the expressed written consent and permission from Robert L. Moshman, Esq., author of The Estate Analyst. To contact Bob Moshman to be included on his distribution list of his monthly newsletter, e-mail Bob at bmoshman@optonline.net. “With the waning importance of the estate tax, planning for chronic illness is an area where estate planners can do a lot of good for many people.” —Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD, PFS, AEP Chronic illness may be the forest that gets overlooked amidst the trees. It is all around us, affecting about one out of every two American adults. Yet, incredibly,…