Sometimes It Sucks To Be Right – IRS Wins, Business Founders and Their Families Lose

Download Printable Article By Carl L. Sheeler, PhD, ASA About six years ago, I was on a family office panel put on by Opal Financial in Newport, RI. About $2 Trillion in wealth is represented at such events.  The gist of my presentation was March 2009 marked the lowest decline in public stock market values since the Great Depression.  It was a key tipping point – perhaps more extreme given tepid growth in its aftermath.  Much of the attendees wealth was derived from investment in distressed assets (real estate, company debt and equity) acquired at steep discounts. These families had…

The Private Decanting: A Do-Over Trust with your Privacy Intact

Download Printable Article By Steven J. Oshins Esq., AEP (Distinguished) What is Trust Decanting? For many years, practitioners have struggled to find ways to change the terms of an irrevocable trust.  However, through common law and through the decanting statutes that have been enacted in many jurisdictions, it is now possible to modify an irrevocable trust.  The rationale for allowing such a modification is that a trustee who has the power to distribute the trust property to or for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries should be able to make the distribution to them in trust and dictate the…

The Top 20 Seminar Marketing Mistakes People Make (Part 2 of 2)

Download Printable Article By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Marketing – – particularly seminar marketing – – has come up quite a bit in recent weeks. From our May Ultimate Level event, to list serve discussions, to people randomly contacting me. It prompted me that perhaps it was time to take a break from the usual practice-building topic and put together an article on seminar marketing. Over the years, seminar presentations sure have evolved, from overhead transparencies, to slide carousel projectors to laptops and LCD…

The Success of Your Business Starts with a Happy Work Environment

Download Printable Article By Kristina Schneider, Executive Assistant “Businesses often forget about the culture and ultimately suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.”  – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos   An often overlooked aspect of developing a successful business is really taking the time to look at the employees, the work environment and the company culture.  The fact is, if you have a disorderly, stressful, and hostile work environment, chances are that you have unhappy employees who don’t like coming into work every day.  And the bold truth of it is that your business will…

Can a Wrong IRA Beneficiary Designation be Corrected After Death?

Download Printable Article By Michelle L. Ward, JD, LLM, CSEP In recent PLRs 201628004 through 201628006, the IRS considered the effect of a state court action that modified the named beneficiary after the death of the IRA owner. In the rulings, the decedent had originally named three trusts as beneficiaries of his IRAs. The trusts qualified as designated beneficiaries under the IRC Section 401(a)(9) Regulations. When his IRAs were moved to a new custodian, however, the beneficiary was changed to his estate. It was represented that, although the decedent signed the new beneficiary designation form, he merely intended to move…