Profiling 15-Year-Old Estate Planning Attorney Sidd Finch, III

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) This article profiles a once-in-a-lifetime talent who is a mere 15 years old. His name is Sidd Finch, III. I recently learned about him when reading an online article at Law.com noting that he had just passed the California State Bar Exam. Early Childhood: Chess Grandmaster at 12 Years Old Sidd is unlike any other 15-year-old. He was born and raised in a small town in New Jersey to parents Sidd Finch, II and Shelly Finch. Sidd is a cardiologist and Shelly is a family law attorney. They realized at a young age…

IRS PLR Approves Adding Formula General Power of Appointment for Basis Step Up

By Edwin P. Morrow, III, J.D., LL.M., MBA, CFP®, CM&AA® In PLR 202206008, the IRS approved of a judicial modification (approval of settlement) of a GST grandfathered trust to add a formula testamentary general power of appointment that would enable the remainder beneficiaries to receive a step up in basis over such assets at the primary beneficiary (child of settlor) powerholder’s death. The IRS ruled that 1) this addition did not disturb the GST exempt nature of the trust or cause any adverse GST consequences and that 2) it would cause estate inclusion over only the desired amount (more on this…

Having Disconnects and Conflicts in the Office Right Now?

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach With everything going on in the world right now, it is safe to say that most people are under much more stress than usual.  From dealing with concerns around the pandemic and working in a post-pandemic world, managing the constantly barrage of headlines, politics and war, to feeling a whole spectrum of emotions about all the change and heaviness that has happened in past couple of years.  Business owners and employees with young children are having to juggle their own set of challenges trying to navigate care and schooling for their children, while we…

Steve Oshins: Estate Planning for Large Estates

Estate Planning Attorney, Philip Kavesh, and President of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. recently interviewed nationally-known estate planning and asset protection attorney, Steve Oshins. The interview consisted of a number of questions related to estate planning for large estates.  Following are some of the highlights of the interview. Phil Kavesh: What do you consider a large estate? Steve Oshins:  I would define “large” as $30 million or more.  Roughly half of my clients are over that number and half are under that number. Phil Kavesh: What does the $30 million-plus client think about? Steve Oshins: These clients generally know that they…

How Do You Properly Compensate (and Incentivize) Associate Attorneys?

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law One of the biggest mistakes I see attorneys that own their own practices make is failing to properly incentivize associate attorneys.  The primary way I have done this successfully for many years is through monthly bonuses.  Whereas attorney bonuses are usually purely discretionary and undefined in advance as to their amount and frequency, the bonus system that I have developed is based on a clearly defined formula.  By utilizing monthly bonuses, you will not only make your associate attorneys…

Failure: The Great Teacher

By David Giuliano, Business Coach I think we can all agree that failure is not a beloved or relished part of life. It gets a bad rap but truthfully there’s no better teacher. It’s been said you don’t know where you’re vulnerable until you fail. Very true. When making any major change, failure happens all the time. I have to address this issue because so many of my clients – a majority of who are lawyers and other business professionals – have very little tolerance for mistakes or failure. They punish themselves, twist others into knots, judge too harshly and…

Basis Bump Planning: Using Grandma to Get a Stepped-Up Income Tax Basis

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The federal estate and gift tax exemption is at an all-time high.  In fact, it’s so high that very few people would owe any federal estate tax if they were to die today.  Therefore, almost everybody dies leaving unused estate tax exemption on the table. Estate Tax Exemption as Currency Dollar, Euro, Yen, Pound, Franc, Peso, Estate Tax Exemption!  Yes, Estate Tax Exemption! Estate Tax Exemption is a form of currency.  However, unlike the other currencies, if you don’t use it during your lifetime you can’t pass it to your heirs (other than…

What to Do When an Associate Attorney Leaves Your Firm

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law If you run your own law practice and have ever had to hire an associate attorney, one of the biggest concerns and risks you take is that one day that associate attorney may decide to leave your firm. Unfortunately, this is a business where a trained employee can easily set up his or her own shop and there is little you can do to restrict it from happening. It can be one of the most disruptive and chaotic things…

Tips to Maintaining a Positive Online Reputation

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach 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 leave…

Conduct a Successful 2022 “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…