Five Simple Tips for Being a More Organized Assistant

By Kristina Schneider & Megan DeLaGarza, Executive Assistants Being an organized assistant is important when supporting a busy professional advisor or attorney, especially one that may be meeting with multiple clients and managing multiple projects and priorities (like most professionals are doing).  Organization isn’t just about how your office looks, but it is also how you manage yourself and ultimately what can become your thoughts and actions.  However, sometimes just the act of organizing your surrounding environment is enough to help organize some of the rest of your chaos.  Staying organized with your paperwork, your desk or office space and…

Advise Clients to “Shift” Opportunities Rather than Grab It Themselves

By Jeremy Spackman, Esq. Opportunity Shifting is a technique where a client’s parent, grandparent or other person sets up a beneficiary controlled Dynasty Trust for the benefit of the client and the client’s descendants.  The client, as trustee of the Dynasty Trust, uses the gift made by the parent or grandparent to invest in a hot business or investment opportunity inside the Dynasty Trust, thereby protecting the opportunity from estate taxes, creditors and divorcing spouses for the duration of the trust. BENEFICIARY CONTROLLED DYNASTY TRUST Before explaining the steps involved in an opportunity shifting transaction, it is important to understand a beneficiary…

“Contextualizing” Life Insurance

By Jason Oshins, Financial Advisor, MBA Context is everything, and an important component of a financial advisor’s job is to contextualize the decision-making process to enable clients to make more effective decisions with a greater likelihood of long-term success. When planning for a couple’s retirement, I frequently begin by reviewing a life expectancy chart, emphasizing two components: (1) the potential gap between the first and second deaths and (2) the potential length of time before the second death is likely to occur.  Assuming a healthy 40-something couple, the gap can be 10, 15, or 20 years, if not more, and…

“Green Book” Proposals and Income Tax Planning

By Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP (Distinguished) On April 13, the Treasury Department issued its annual Revenue Raising Proposals, commonly referred to as the“Green Book”. In this column we will summarize the key income tax proposals and suggest some planning ideas. These proposals include: (1)  Implementing the Buffett Rule by imposing a new “Fair Share Tax;” (2)  Reducing the value of certain income tax deductions and exclusions; (3)  Limiting the total amount a taxpayer can accrue in tax favored retirement plans; (4)  Shortening the deferral period for inherited IRAs; and (5)  Taxing carried interests as ordinary income. INCOME TAX…

Fight Back Against “Commoditization” and Low-Priced Competition

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 (UPDATED JULY 2015) The estate planning profession, and in particular the basic Living Trust-centered practice, has been hammered by new challenges.  There’s the proliferation of Internet “zoom” document providers and do-it-yourself trust kits (Suze Orman and the like).  There are non-attorney trust mills increasingly grabbing market share (often in violation of the state statutes prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law).  And there are bargain-priced, low-end attorneys (many of whom have jumped aboard the Living Trust craze…