Top 6 Strategies for Managing Interruptions in the Workplace

Download Printable Article By Kristina Schneider, Executive Assistant Check out these startling statistics about interruptions in the workplace! According to a study conducted by University of California, Irvine, people spend an average of 11 minutes on a project before they are interrupted and it takes them on average 25 minutes to get back to the point they were at before a distraction. According to the same study, employees that work in shared workspace (like cubicles) are interrupted 29% more often than people in private offices. According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, even after just a 2.8-second interruption, studies showed…

The New IRC 199A Pass-Thru Business Deduction: Applying the 28.57% Magical W-2 Formula

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The greatest opportunity business owners received from the Trump Tax Act is the new IRC 199A pass-thru business deduction. This deduction allows certain taxpayers to deduct 20% of their Qualified Business Income. However, not every taxpayer can receive this deduction, so estate planners have a huge opportunity to exploit the new statute by educating themselves with the details of the new statute. For a married couple with taxable income of no more than $315,000 (adjusted for inflation) and for an unmarried individual with taxable income of no more than $157,500 (adjusted for inflation),…

Do Client Maintenance Plans Really Work?

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 Two of the major issues confronting estate planning attorneys are the commoditization of our “products” and increasing low price competition thanks to the do-it-yourself kits and internet trusts.  One way to combat these issues is to emphasize and show your prospects how your “product” is superior to what your competitors have to offer, such as by differentiating the services available to the client after the sale.  Think about it, when you purchase or lease a car,…

The SECURE Act: Everything You Need to Know (and How to Advise Your Clients!)

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed a spending bill which had attached to it a piece of legislation that much of the estate, tax and financial world has been anxiously awaiting for an update on called the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019” (or “SECURE Act”). The SECURE Act went into effect January 1st, 2020 and is set to dramatically impact retirement planning for you and your clients! As many are aware, the most important provision of the SECURE Act to impact our clients and the planning we do for them includes the elimination of…

Top Six Opportunities to Use a Corporate Trustee

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Corporate Trustee A corporate trustee is generally either a bank trust department or a trust company.  The employees at these companies have been trained to know how to administer trusts, how to account for their actions and to deal with beneficiaries.  They are licensed and bonded and therefore there is often recourse if something goes wrong. The Argument for Corporate Trustees Individuals will often neglect to take care of their responsibilities such as paying bills on time or following the rules required by the language in their trust agreements.  Individuals also sometimes steal. …

Effectively Managing Your Boss’ Busy Calendar

By Kristina Schneider, Executive Assistant Whether your boss is an estate planning attorney, CPA, financial advisor or life insurance agent, chances are, he or she has an overwhelmingly busy calendar.  From client meetings, phone calls, seminar presentations, conferences and CE programs to numerous projects to be completed, goals to be reached, and endless obligations to be met. How do you organize, prioritize and manage it all while getting everything scheduled and done? Ask for Assistance with Prioritizing First, ask for assistance in prioritizing your tasks (and your boss’ tasks).  Thankfully, most executives acknowledge that their assistants are juggling several tasks…

The 2010-2019 All-Decade Estate Planning Awards

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) This past decade has arguably seen more changes in the estate planning industry than ever before. This article will highlight many of these changes by handing out awards in a number of different categories. #1. MOST SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN THE LAW AWARD WINNER: SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN ESTATE TAX EXEMPTION. The change in the law that has been the most significant was the substantial increase in the federal estate tax exemption. No other change in the law played such a prominent role in the way estate planners plan since this essentially turned estate tax planners…

Conduct a Successful 2020 “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…

Year-End Sales Tip to Get Clients to Engage You

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law As we head into the final weeks of the year, you may experience some push back from clients and prospective clients you are meeting with.  In particular, they may say that the holiday time is too busy and they’d like to revisit things sometime next year. The problem with this is that once they leave your office, it’ll be much harder to circle back with them, get them in, get them re-motivated to do the planning, and do business…

Santa’s 2019 Estate Planning Naughty or Nice List

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Have you been naughty or have you been nice in 2019?  This article is directed towards all estate planners, including attorneys, accountants, trust officers, life insurance agents and financial planners.  This will help you decide whether you’re been naughty or you’ve been nice. Staggered Distribution Trusts: If you encourage your clients to create trusts that make mandatory outright distributions to the clients’ children upon reaching staggered ages, then you’re on the Naughty List.  This subjects the trust assets to the creditors and divorcing spouses of the children.  Trusts should generally be designed to…