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…

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…

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…

Are You (or Have You) Drafted IRA Trusts? You Better Make Sure You Do THIS!

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist As you may be aware, the SECURE Act threated to reduce the IRA beneficiary stretchout from life expectancy to only 10 years. However, after passing through the House in late May, it has yet to make its way through the Senate. It’s still unclear if and when it may get passed and now into December, it doesn’t seem likely to pass sometime this year. If you have been and/or are drafting standalone IRA Beneficiary Trusts (or IRA Inheritance Trusts®) for your clients, you may nevertheless have these or other law changes in the…

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…

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…

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…

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Oshins: Nevada vs. Delaware Dynasty Trusts

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Testing his theory that in every man dwells a good and an evil force, the reserved Dr. Jekyll develops a formula that separates the two, turning him into an argumentative estate planning attorney named Mr. Oshins who tells it like it is. Dr. Jekyll soon realizes he is becoming addicted to his darker self as he unleashes his opinions on the estate planning industry. In this article, Dr. Jekyll tackles the issue of which trust jurisdiction is superior for Dynasty Trusts, Nevada or Delaware. As expected, Mr. Oshins will provide a different view…

What Trust Jurisdictions Other than Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota Are Best?

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Some of these jurisdictions are up-and-comers and others are underrated.  This article focuses on the “Other Four States”. Most practitioners focus on Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota as the Big Four States when it comes to selecting a trust situs.  These four states collectively receive a substantial amount of the out-of-state trust business, in part because of their spectacular laws and in part because of their longevity as trust heavyweights. However, there are other states that are more than respectable and worthy of praise.  And in many aspects they are competitive with…