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…

Kick-Start Your Boss’ Calendar in the Right Direction for 2014

By Kristina Schneider & Megan DeLaGarza, Executive Assistants It’s hard to believe that it’s already December.  What this time of year typically means for us is that we are usually preparing Phil’s calendar for the next year so that we can maximize the best uses of his time, while also making sure that we don’t overlook important items that need to get onto his calendar.  Here are some tips for laying out the 2014 calendar for your boss so that he or she can kick-start 2014 in the right direction. Calendar the Basics The first thing you will want to…

Conduct a Successful 2014 “Kick-Off” Meeting with Your Firm

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law I’ve found that the best way to ensure a successful new year is to start off with a big stride in the right direction, by holding a firm “kick-off” meeting.  The purpose of this meeting is to establish clearly defined goals for the year, outline the implementation process and get everyone on board, excited and motivated!  It also provides an action checklist that you and your firm can periodically refer back to during the year, so you stay on…

Top Ten Reasons to Decant an Irrevocable Trust

By Steven J. Oshins, J.D., AEP (Distinguished) Trust decanting is the act of distributing assets from one trust to a new trust with different terms.  Just as one can decant wine by pouring it from its original bottle into a new bottle, leaving the unwanted sediment in the original bottle, one can pour the assets from one trust into a new trust, leaving the unwanted terms in the original trust. 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…