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…