Drowning in E-mail? Tips to Save Time and Be More Efficient!

By Kristina Schneider, Practice Success Coach Electronic mail, otherwise known as e-mail, has become a vital and primary form of communication for most businesses.  In fact, it’s the very reason you’re probably reading this newsletter article. While e-mail has become a very efficient way to communicate and handle business, it can also become a source of major inefficiency and time-wasting in the office.  Think about how much time is spent sifting through all of your daily e-mail.  Double or triple that when you come back from the weekend.  And let’s not even talk about how much e-mail we come back…

A Conversation About Perceived Value

By Melinda Merk, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, AEP® (Distinguished) This time of year, we tend to see an uptick in estate and trust administration and guardianship cases. All too often, we see situations where the deceased or incapacitated person did their estate planning on the cheap, did it themselves or, worst of all, did nothing. Unfortunately, their families and loved ones are now bearing the added cost and emotional burden of a court-supervised probate or guardianship proceeding and other unintended consequences, which could have been alleviated had the proper planning and documents been in place, working with an experienced estate…

Business Owners: No Divide in 2021

By David Giuliano, Business Coach There’s no denying that over the last 12 months, we have all experienced unprecedented change and uncertainty.  What’s interesting to me is that the results are all over the spectrum.  While some businesses have been affected terribly, others have flourished and are busier than ever. Like many, I am concerned about the great division in the country right now, and I’m sorry to say your business is far from immune to the impact created by it.  By all means, this is not a new problem, but it’s one that has been undeniably exacerbated by the pandemic…

The Beneficiary Controlled Trust as the Centerpiece of the Estate Plan

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) INTRODUCTION Most estate planning attorneys draft trusts that make mandatory distributions to the beneficiaries upon reaching certain ages.  For example, many trusts pay out one-third upon the beneficiary reaching age 25, one-half of the balance upon the beneficiary reaching age 30 and the balance upon the beneficiary reaching age 35. This is commonly known as a Staggered Distribution Trust since the distributions are staggered over different time periods. The philosophy used in this type of trust design is that the beneficiaries have multiple opportunities to learn from their mistakes. However, Staggered Distribution Trusts…

Which Type of Trust is Most Important for Top 1% Financial Advisors to Know About?

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Are you a financial advisor? If so, you’re likely compensated in large part based on assets under management. Therefore, your interests are aligned with those of our clients. The better you do for them, the better you do for yourself. THE STATE INCOME TAX DRAG Just as it is frustrating for our clients in states with a state income tax to pay that tax on taxable dividends and capital gains, it must be nearly as frustrating for the financial advisor whose income is also adversely affected by this state income tax drag. What if…

Top 6 Strategies for Managing Interruptions in the Workplace

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist According to a study, the average time spent per day by employees being interrupted and trying to refocus is 2.1 hours. Interruptions at the workplace is estimated to cost businesses in the U.S. over half a trillion dollars each year!* While interruptions at the workplace are inevitable, it doesn’t mean that they cannot be minimized or reduced. Below are what I consider to be the top ten strategies for managing (and reducing) the amount of interruptions at the workplace. Strategy #1: Evaluate (and change) your physical workspace. One of the biggest eye-openers for…

Free Checkup Meetings Generate Lots of Revenue!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In a prior article, we discussed the “free service package” alternative to an annual maintenance fee program.  The package included a free attorney checkup meeting every three years. You may be wondering, “How do you get your existing clients to come back in for these checkup meetings and actually generate additional revenue from them?” (Before I address these questions, let me first note that, even if you do have and decide to keep your current maintenance plan, periodic checkup…

Situs Your Trust in a First-Tier Trust Jurisdiction

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) and Mark Dreschler Not all jurisdictions have favorable trust laws. In fact, most jurisdictions’ trust laws are inferior in comparison to those of the first-tier trust jurisdictions. Despite the limitations found in most trust jurisdictions laws, estate planners generally limit their planning to the client’s home jurisdiction. This article will provide multiple reasons not to do so and will explain some of the opportunities that are lost by failing to consider a top trust jurisdiction. COMMON REASONS TO SITUS A TRUST IN A TOP-TIER TRUST JURISDICTION Following are some of the common reasons…

Staff Reviews & Setting Goals at the Beginning of the New Year

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In successfully running a law practice for over 40 years, I have found that it’s vitally important to periodically meet with each of my staff members (even ones that may be part-time or independent contractors) to review their job performance and set clear and defined goals.  Once you do these reviews on a regular basis, you will be amazed how much more motivated and productive your staff will be! I do these reviews semi-annually, at the beginning of January…

The Success of Your Business Starts with a Happy Work Environment

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist “Businesses often forget about the culture and ultimately suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.”  – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos   An often overlooked aspect of developing a successful business is really taking the time to look at the employees, the work environment and the company culture.  The fact is, if you have a disorderly, stressful, and hostile work environment, chances are that you have unhappy employees who don’t like coming into work every day.  And the bold truth of it is that your business will suffer…