Successful Seminar Marketing 101: Tips for Getting Started

Download Printable Article By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law (UPDATED JULY 2015) I am a big proponent of seminar marketing.  That’s because I have regularly used seminars to successfully build and grow my practice over the past 30 years. Benefits of Doing Seminars Before we get into how to start up the seminar marketing process, it’s important for you to understand the benefits of doing seminars.  Some people believe that seminars are about educating people on estate planning or building your image and firm name…

What’s Wrong with Variable Annuities?

By Richard Gilman, CFP® After the stock market crash in 2000 and “Great Recession”, investors have justifiably become more concerned about their retirement. Many people no longer trust Wall Street.  Having suffered through dramatic market swings, they are unwilling to keep putting their savings at risk. They worry about exploding health care costs and outliving their money. They know they need to do something — but what? Annuities of all kinds are being positioned by insurers, the government, the media and financial planning community as part of the solution.  And annuities may very well be one part of the solution. …

Tax and Economic Implications of the DOMA Decision

By Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP (Distinguished) Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) provided that in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, the word “marriage” meant only the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated this section of the Act in United States v. Windsor. The decision has far reaching planning implications for married same-sex couples whose marriage is recognized under…

Is the JEST Trust a Joke?

By Alan Gassman, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates, AEP (Distinguished), and Christopher J. Denicolo, J.D., LL.M. Can a married couple in a non-community property state establish a joint revocable trust that will facilitate obtaining a date of death stepped-up basis on the death of the first dying spouse, and the full funding of a credit shelter trust (to the extent of the first dying spouse’s estate tax exemption) that can benefit the surviving spouse and descendants without being subject to federal estate tax on the surviving spouse’s death? After extensively researching these…

Life Insurance from the Estate Planning Attorney’s Viewpoint

By Steven J. Oshins, J.D., AEP (Distinguished) Estate planning attorneys are often known for “killing” life insurance sales.  Since the attorney owes the client a duty to do what is in the client’s best interest, if the attorney truly believes that the client does not need the insurance policy, then the attorney is arguably satisfying his or her ethical responsibilities to the client.  However, the attorney often automatically says “no” to the client’s detriment.  Perhaps the problem is that many attorneys just don’t understand the different life insurance products.  And human nature is often such that if you don’t understand…

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 our last 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 meetings…

Should Your Clients Be Using the “OBIT” Instead of the AB?

By Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M.(Tax), CFP®, RFC® For many taxpayers, the traditional trust design for married couples is now obsolete. Traditional AB trust designs risk incurring higher income taxes after the first death, and reduced basis increase at the second death.  New trust designs can not only mitigate against this risk, but create income tax advantages over outright bequests. Some practitioners advocate using a marital deduction trust, even if there is no need for the federal marital deduction, to allow the family to achieve a second step-up in basis with the asset protection and control of a trust….

Is Financial Planning Different for Women?

By Michelle A. Fait, MBA, CFP®, EA With the financial advisory industry turning its focus towards the 51% of the population that is female, many of whom will be directly responsible for an increasingly large portion of the nation’s personal wealth, there has been much discussion about the financial planning needs of women.  There are some obvious differences in demographics, including women’s statistically longer average life spans, the greater likelihood that they will take time out of the work force for care-giving (of children or parents or both), and that they will on average be paid less than men for…

Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Clients’ Trust-Owned Life Insurance Policy?

By Michael W. Halloran, CFP®, AEP®, ChFC®, CLU® Whether owned in a revocable or irrevocable trust, many practitioners have used life insurance over the years. Depending upon the type of policy as well as current economic conditions, some problems could arise with many existing Trust Owned Life Insurance (TOLI) policies. The majority of problems with TOLI policies lie in irrevocable trusts. Many times the trustee places the policy in the trust without checking with the company to see if the policy is sustainable for the intended purpose of the trust. The coverage needs to stay in-force until the death of…

Beneficiary Designation Problems with IRAs: More Than Just the RMD Rules!

  By Kristen M. Lynch, J.D., AEP, CISP, CTFA with Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP (Distinguished) In the world of estate and retirement planning, I have been fortunate enough to have been cross-trained as both a trust officer and an attorney.  As a trust officer, I was charged with being the divisional manager and administrator for all of the IRAs within a large regional bank’s trust department.  In that role, I was responsible for ensuring that the bank’s IRA clients took their required minimum distributions (“RMD’s”), coordinated estate planning and post-mortem issues with the IRA client’s legal and tax…