Trustasaurus: The Gradual Extinction of the Age 25, 30 and 35 Trust

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Read nearly every trust drafted by nearly every law firm and you’ll see provisions that make mandatory distributions at staggered ages. Why is this done? I have no idea. Maybe because their standard “form” trust agreement does that??? Is it good planning? Absolutely not! STAGGERED DISTRIBUTION TRUST A “Staggered Distribution Trust” is a trust than makes mandatory staggered distributions upon the beneficiary reaching staggered ages. The most widely-used provisions distribute one-third at age 25, one-half of the balance at age 30 and the balance at age 35. The philosophy of doing this is…

The Biden Estate Tax Cliff: Gifting Like it’s 2012 All Over Again!

By  Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Those estate planning attorneys who were in practice in 2012 surely remember the last few months of the year when prospective clients were calling and emailing all day long every day literally begging us to take “just one more client”! There was a mad rush to make $5 million gifts before the estate tax exemption was going to drop back down when the clock struck midnight at the end of 12/31/2012. Most of the experienced attorneys were so busy that they stopped taking new clients in October or November. FAST FORWARD TO 2020…

6th Annual Non-Grantor Trust State Income Tax Chart Released!

By  Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Different states have different rules as to what creates a “resident trust” that is subject to taxation in that state.  States may tax a trust based on the residency of the settlor or testator, based on whether there is a resident trustee or beneficiary or whether there is administration in that state, or for a combination of these factors and/or other similar factors. So it isn’t as easy as simply situsing a trust in a state with no state income tax.  You have to look at the state taxing statutes that may apply….

The Inheritor’s Trust: How I Want to Inherit from Mommy and Daddy

By Tiffany A. Oshins  The term “Inheritor’s Trust” was service marked at the Patent & Trademark Office by my Daddy (Steve Oshins), my Grandpa (Richard Oshins) and another attorney (Noel Ice) in 2003.  They abandoned the service mark in 2006 after the Patent & Trademark Office determined it to have become a term of common usage. Despite the abandonment of the service mark, the estate planning industry continues to use the term.  As a potential future inheritor, I would like to receive all gifts and bequests from Mommy and Daddy in an Inheritor’s Trust.  This article will explain this concept…

The Estate Planning “Perfect Storm”

An Interview with Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Nationally-known estate planning attorney Steve Oshins and nationally-known CPA Bob Keebler recently gave a joint teleconference for us entitled, “Estate Planning Techniques in a Time of Low Interest Rates”. In that presentation, Steve and Bob coined the term “PERFECT STORM” to reflect the current estate planning environment.  We interviewed Steve after the session and are pleased to bring to you highlights from the transcript of the interview. UEP:  Why did you and Bob call the current estate planning environment the “PERFECT STORM”? SO:  We did so for two reasons.  First of…

Helpful Resources for Executing Documents During Pandemic

EDITOR’S NOTE: Many estate planners are grappling with how to execute documents without an in-person client meeting and yet still have them considered valid.  This article helps shed some light on this issue.  Thank you to attorney, Susan K., for passing along this fantastic article to us. Application of the Harmless Error Doctrine in California and Beyond By Jessica Uzcategui of Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, LLP THE HARMLESS ERROR DOCTRINE The traditional definition of a “will” is changing. Historically, courts insisted on strict compliance with will formalities. In California, this meant that a will had to be signed by…

How the Hybrid Domestic Asset Protection Trust Has Changed the Entire Asset Protection Industry

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The Different Asset Protection Options There are three main trust options:  Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (“DAPTs”), Foreign Asset Protection Trusts (“FAPTs”) and Hybrid Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (“Hybrid DAPTs”). Domestic Asset Protection Trusts A traditional DAPT is an irrevocable trust set up under the laws of one of the 19 states that allows such a trust.  The person setting up and funding the trust (the “settlor”) does not need to reside in one of those 19 jurisdictions.  Under the statutes of each of those jurisdictions, after a certain waiting period, the assets transferred…

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. …

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…