Top 10 Year-End Practice-Building & Marketing Ideas of 2019

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist As we head into the final 2 months of 2019, you may be wondering where all the time went and what can you do in these final two months to really help your practice end the year with a BANG! I’ve put together what I consider to be the Top 10 Year-End Practice-Building and Marketing Ideas for 2019 so that you can end this year on a productive, positive note and head into 2020 with some momentum! IDEA #1: Clean up your database. Now is a great time to take a look at…

Is Your Office a Safe Place for People to Work?

By David Giuliano, Business Coach For over 40 years I have worked in the business world and I’ve learned many lessons. One of the most important aspects of business success is a work environment where people feel safe, can communicate honestly, and grow as a whole.  Having an unsafe environment causes the most damage to the owner of the business.  This might seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is in this day and age, it’s extremely hard to maintain a healthy work environment, but very necessary to do so. My work has shown me that if we can address…

The Spousal Lifetime Access Trust

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Imagine that there is a type of trust that you can set up where you can transfer assets and not only protect them from creditors and estate tax, but also have access to them through your spouse.  No, this is not a hypothetical world where there are rainbows and unicorns!  This world really does exist! This trust is often called a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust, or “SLAT” for short.  Most people are aware of the completed gift version where estate tax avoidance is the primary motivating factor.  However, there are really two different…

The Philosophy Behind Protecting Assets from Creditors

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Asset protection has become necessary for just about every physician, every businessman, and every person with even reasonably substantial wealth.  It has become customary to have some form of an asset protection trust. As we see case law develop in the asset protection area, it seems that every time a new decision is issued there are numerous blogs and comments made about the case at conferences, whether positive or negative.  The litigators generally claim that the new case spells the end of the technique that was used and failed to work in this…

Tips to Maintaining a Positive Online Reputation

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist With the growing use of the internet, clients, prospective clients and professional referral sources will look you up online and learn about you before they decide to do business with you.  So, you have to maintain a quality online presence, more than merely having a good website.  You also must maintain a positive online reputation! First, let’s start with some basic questions: Have you ever Googled yourself or your firm before? Do you know that Yelp, Google, and Facebook create profiles for your business (even if you didn’t initiate one) and customers can…

Which Trust Jurisdiction is a “Champ-Champ”?

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) A “Champ-Champ” is someone who holds two championship belts simultaneously.  And one other option is to call such a person “Double Champ”. In determining which trust jurisdiction is a Champ-Champ, we must focus on the three most important titles to hold:  Best Dynasty Trust Jurisdiction, Best Domestic Asset Protection Trust Jurisdiction and Best Trust Decanting Jurisdiction. The Top Trust Jurisdictions If you ask most people, Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota (in alphabetical order) are the top trust jurisdictions.  However, a lot of this has to do with marketing. The technicians in our…

8 Steps to Hiring a Great Executive Assistant

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist An executive assistant is an often overlooked position for many estate planning professionals. I know this because I often interact with a lot of attorneys, financial advisors, and CPAs directly on matters that I also know would be best handled by an executive assistant. Not having an executive assistant means that you, the executive, are often stuck with a lot of daily administrative tasks in the office. And that’s fine if that’s something that you enjoy doing and it works for you. But, for most estate planning professionals, that’s a huge misappropriation of…

One Simple, Yet Powerful Marketing Strategy Many Estate Planners Are NOT Utilizing!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Lawyers and other professionals often cringe at just hearing the word “marketing”.  The idea of marketing their practice feels cheesy, unprofessional, and perhaps even “below” them.  However, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, marketing is a basic necessity of any business, whether you call your plans and strategies for bringing in revenue to your company “marketing” or not.  If you are not doing some type of marketing, then how are you getting clients in the door?  If you’re…

Steve Oshins: Interview About the 2019 State Rankings Charts and State Income Tax Chart

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) While at the WealthCounsel Symposium in Boston, we at The Ultimate Estate Planner (“UEP”) had the opportunity to sit down and interview nationally-known estate planning and asset protection attorney, Steve Oshins (“SJO”).  The interview consisted of a number of questions related to his State Rankings Charts and State Income Tax Chart. UEP: Please tell us about your charts and where they can be accessed. SJO:  I currently have four charts.  Three of the charts rank the states that have the best Domestic Asset Protection Trust laws, Dynasty Trust laws and Decanting laws, respectively. …

The Kaestner Case and the New Emphasis on Using Non-Grantor Trusts to Save State Income Tax

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Estate planners are constantly looking for additional ways to save taxes for their clients.  One often-overlooked concept is to use trusts to save state income taxes, especially for those clients who reside in a state with a high state income tax.  Ironically, income tax savings is generally the most appreciated work we do for our clients given that they can personally enjoy the savings, but yet the planning opportunities are frequently missed. Different states have different rules as to what creates a “resident trust” that is subject to taxation in that state.  States…