Impact of Potential Tax Reform on Business Owners and Possible Steps to Take in 2017

By Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), CFP®, CM&AA® On November 2, 2017, the Speaker of the House, with the backing of the President, finally introduced the long-awaited bill that represents Republican efforts at comprehensive tax reform, to be titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”. Of course, the Senate will propose significant changes, and there is opposition from both parties about the direction of the bill and the trillions it could add to the national debt. That said, there is a very strong chance of something close to the bill being passed this year or early next year. What are…

Top 5 Dumbest Comments Made by Estate Planners

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Having practiced estate planning for more than two decades, I have seen and heard my share of comments and representations that are true head-scratchers that often make you roll your eyes.  This epidemic seems to have gotten much worse through the years, possibly because of the pressure to perform and thrive in a very competitive environment.  This article will highlight some of my favorites. DUMB COMMENT #1: “Bad facts make bad law!” The “bad facts make bad law” excuse has been around for many years.  Obviously, every case that has a result we…

Crowdsource Funding to Help Victims of the Las Vegas Massacre

By Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP, JD, Bernard A. Krooks, JD, CPA, LLM (Taxation), CELA, AEP® (Distinguished)., and Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq. Introduction One of the authors just received a call to assist those helping one of the hundreds of victims of the Las Vegas shooting with some questions concerning a crowdfunding effort. What initially seemed like a simple question, which that might help one victim struggling with unfathomable challenges, following an equally unfathomable mass shooting, grew into something more. The questions grew and it became clear that they may affect the hundreds of victims of the Las…

Supply and Demand of Advanced Estate Tax Planning

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The federal estate tax exemption was increased to $5 million plus annual inflationary increases earlier this decade. “The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!”  Those were the words of many estate planners who realized that there would be a substantially smaller pool of prospective clients who need advanced estate tax planning.  At that point, not considering state estate taxes, only individuals with estates greater than $5 million and married couples with estates greater than $10 million needed any advanced estate planning done.  Today, in 2017, those figures are…

The Curious Case of the Exponential Growth of the NING Trust to Save State Income Taxes

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) It’s the year 2017.  The tax world seems to be relatively similar to that of 2016.  But one tax-saving technique seems to have certainly taken on a life of its own this year.  This technique is called a NING Trust. In prior years, although there were plenty of individuals creating NING Trusts, this technique was relatively unknown throughout the estate planning industry.  However, it seems that 2017 has been the Year of the NING as many tax practitioners have noticed the exponential growth of this strategy!  Suddenly, a technique that hadn’t yet gone…

California Supreme Court Weakens Protection for Spendthrift Trusts

By Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), CFP®, CM&AA® In Carmack v. Reynolds (Frealy), released March 23, 2017, the California Supreme Court, asked by the Ninth Circuit to clarify a point of California law applicable to an ongoing bankruptcy case on appeal, held that California law does not limit a bankruptcy trustee to 25% of distributions from a third-party created spendthrift trust, but includes any past distributable amounts “due and payable”. Most estate and tax professionals were probably unaware that a bankruptcy trustee could even include 25% of a trust’s distributions in a bankruptcy estate, much less more.  Under most…

Three Ways Your Business Planning Practice May Be Impacted by Republican Tax Reform Proposals

By Jennifer L. Villier, JD | Legal Education Faculty, WealthCounsel On the heels of his inauguration, President Trump quickly got to work exercising his executive authority to implement some of his campaign proposals. With a stroke of his pen, President Trump has frozen pending regulations, increased border security measures, frozen federal hiring, withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and prioritized deportation of undocumented immigrants. President Trump has stressed that putting “America first” by protecting our borders and bolstering small businesses are fundamental to his objective of driving domestic economic growth. While we await developments on proposed tax reform, we can prepare…

Robert Keebler Podcast on the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017

Thanks to the generosity of Stephan Leimberg and Leimberg Information Services, we are pleased to bring to you complimentary podcasts on the following important updates. Senate Bill 205, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017 Senate Bill 205, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017, would not only repeal the estate tax — it would also eliminate a technique designed to reduce state income tax, the ING trust. Bob Keebler reports. LISI members can read more about S. 205 and other estate tax repeal proposals in Estate Planning Newsletter No. 2516 by Ed Morrow, published on February 10, 2017. To…

My Three Sons – Planning for Children of All Ages

By Alan S. Gassman J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates, AEP (Distinguished) In the 1960’s sitcom, My Three Sons, Fred MacMurray played the thoughtful and patient parent of three adolescent and teenage boys, who learned many interesting lessons living a wholesome life in suburban American. Parents with children of all ages need guidance in a number of areas that are typically not mentioned during an estate or financial planning meeting. The planner who brings up the discussion points set forth below will certainly be providing his or her clients with better tailored planning…

Free Webinar – Estate Planning in 2017 & Beyond

Courtesy of WealthCounsel, LLC Ever since 2001, the keyword for estate tax planning has been “flexibility.” Thanks to a 10-year phased-in temporary estate tax repeal, followed by a massive economic recession, and then followed by the Tax Act of 2012 that effectively repealed estate tax for all but 0.2% of the population in the United States, estate planning has been anything but predictable or boring.  Fast forward to 2017, estate planners are left wondering… “What will the Republican-controlled Senate and the Donald Trump Presidency bring in terms of tax changes and how will that impact the estate planning industry?” Estate…