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…

Tips for Boosting Morale In Your Office This Thanksgiving

By Kristina Schneider, Practice-Building & Marketing Specialist There’s no doubt that this year has been a challenging one for many people – – both professionally and personally.  There’s been a whirlwind of things going on this year and it’s hard to just “check it at the door” when you come into the office. Speaking with numerous attorneys about their current challenges in their practice, one thing seems certain.  Office morale is down. Low morale at the office usually results in reduced productivity, compromised work performance, tardiness and absences, and even personal conflicts and emotional outbursts. As we wind down the…

9th Annual Dynasty Trust State Rankings Chart Released

By  Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The 9th Annual Dynasty Trust State Rankings Chart has been released! This year’s Chart factors in the new era of Dynasty Trusts. The Chart is an easy-to-use summary of leading Dynasty Trust states that shows the material differences among the states and ranks them according to usability and flexibility. Planners often focus on the multi-generational estate tax benefits of a Dynasty Trust. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 essentially doubled the federal estate and gift tax exemption which, after inflationary increases, is now $11.58 million per person, or $23.16 million…

Six Big Mistakes When Choosing an Associate Attorney

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Although attorneys are trained in the technical aspects of the law, we haven’t been taught how to run a successful business, often relying upon trial and error as costly teachers. In the process of building my own practice, I have made each and every one of the following mistakes when hiring associate attorneys, so I am speaking to you from experience. Mistake #1: Focusing mainly on the associate’s law school, credentials, experience and technical expertise. As educated and experienced…

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 that 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…