Should Your Clients Be Using the “OBIT” Instead of the AB?

By Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M.(Tax), CFP®, RFC® For many taxpayers, the traditional trust design for married couples is now obsolete. Traditional AB trust designs risk incurring higher income taxes after the first death, and reduced basis increase at the second death.  New trust designs can not only mitigate against this risk, but create income tax advantages over outright bequests. Some practitioners advocate using a marital deduction trust, even if there is no need for the federal marital deduction, to allow the family to achieve a second step-up in basis with the asset protection and control of a trust….

Is Financial Planning Different for Women?

By Michelle A. Fait, MBA, CFP®, EA With the financial advisory industry turning its focus towards the 51% of the population that is female, many of whom will be directly responsible for an increasingly large portion of the nation’s personal wealth, there has been much discussion about the financial planning needs of women.  There are some obvious differences in demographics, including women’s statistically longer average life spans, the greater likelihood that they will take time out of the work force for care-giving (of children or parents or both), and that they will on average be paid less than men for…

Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Clients’ Trust-Owned Life Insurance Policy?

By Michael W. Halloran, CFP®, AEP®, ChFC®, CLU® Whether owned in a revocable or irrevocable trust, many practitioners have used life insurance over the years. Depending upon the type of policy as well as current economic conditions, some problems could arise with many existing Trust Owned Life Insurance (TOLI) policies. The majority of problems with TOLI policies lie in irrevocable trusts. Many times the trustee places the policy in the trust without checking with the company to see if the policy is sustainable for the intended purpose of the trust. The coverage needs to stay in-force until the death of…

Beneficiary Designation Problems with IRAs: More Than Just the RMD Rules!

  By Kristen M. Lynch, J.D., AEP, CISP, CTFA with Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP (Distinguished) In the world of estate and retirement planning, I have been fortunate enough to have been cross-trained as both a trust officer and an attorney.  As a trust officer, I was charged with being the divisional manager and administrator for all of the IRAs within a large regional bank’s trust department.  In that role, I was responsible for ensuring that the bank’s IRA clients took their required minimum distributions (“RMD’s”), coordinated estate planning and post-mortem issues with the IRA client’s legal and tax…

Blow Up Your Annual Maintenance Fee Program!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In my last article, I addressed the marketplace issues confronting estate planning attorneys, in particular commoditization of our “products” and increasing low price competition.  One of the ways that I discussed to combat these issues is to emphasize how your “product” is better than your competitors’.  Another way to differentiate yourself is to emphasize your “service after the sale.”  When someone purchases a car, he or she wants to know what kind of service or maintenance program is available and…

How “Electronically” Organized Are You?

By Kristina Schneider & Megan DeLaGarza, Executive Assistants In last month’s newsletter, we discussed the top tips to get yourself more organized in your office space and through your daily workload, but your organization isn’t just about what’s on the outside.  How about your electronic files on the computer?  If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes looking for a file or trying to find an e-mail to respond to, then you might not be as electronically organized as you should be in order to be an effective and efficient assistant. As a follow-up to last month’s article, here are some…