Estate planning

Latest Stories

Securing the Financial Health of Your Grandchildren with Multi-Generational Life Insurance

By Frank Howell | June 20, 2017

Creative use of life insurance can play an important role in a multi-generational legacy planning strategy, one that allows grandparents to set aside assets specifically to benefit their grandkids, yet still retain control over those assets during their lifetimes. This is a strategy I’ve used with my own clients.

Don’t Forget to Include Your Pet in Your Estate Plan

By Margaret Muldoon | June 13, 2017

While it’s silly to leave $12 million to your dog, it’s not a bad idea to consider the care of your pets in your estate planning. Pets are considered property under the law, but for most pet owners they are treasured members of the family. But unless you specifically provide for the care of your pet, it will pass along with the rest of your property as outlined your Will or according to intestacy laws (if you don’t have a Will). That might not be the best person to care for your pet. There are three ways you can provide for a pet in the event of your incapacity or death.

Life Insurance Remains a Strong Source of Stability in an Uncertain Tax Environment

By Eva Victor | May 30, 2017

Just as estate planning has changed in recent years, so has the use of life insurance in estate planning. Life insurance can effectively serve multiple purposes and objectives in an estate plan, and has more uses beyond simply providing a death benefit to pay estate taxes.

Estate Planning for Blended Families

By Margaret Muldoon | October 18, 2016

I wrote a while ago about the changing composition of the American family, using characters and family relations in the TV network series Modern Family to illustrate how complex a family can be for estate planning. Today I’d like to follow up and talk more in-depth about the estate planning challenges of blended families.

Your Will is Just the First Step in Estate Planning

By Margaret Muldoon | August 30, 2016

If you are one of the 45 percent of people who have written a Will, congratulations! But it’s not enough just to have a Will in place. You also want to review the ownership of your assets to ensure everything aligns with your Will. There are a lot of moving parts that need to be considered so that your wishes are met.

Effective Planning with Life Insurance – Avoid These Common Tax Traps

By Eva Victor | July 12, 2016

Life insurance is a unique financial product that may provide needed liquidity during lifetime and upon death of the insured. The importance of life insurance is reflected in its favorable tax treatment. However, tax traps can frequently arise in structuring a policy and in common planning contexts.

Capture Timely Estate Planning Opportunities for a Low Interest Rate Environment

By Eva Victor | April 5, 2016

Interest rates currently remain extremely low by historical standards, which dramatically enhances the effectiveness of certain popular estate planning techniques. Changes in rates can result in substantial differences in the costs and anticipated benefits of implementing various interest rate sensitive strategies.

Seven Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes

By Margaret Muldoon | January 26, 2016

Creating a well-drafted estate plan is important for everyone, not just those who are very wealthy or famous. But, it’s almost as if many of these celebrities created their wills as a quick side note. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the more notable celebrity estate planning mistakes.

Make an Estate Plan Review Part of Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Eva Victor | December 29, 2015

The New Year is a traditional time for resolutions – and should include an estate planning “tune up”! Here is a checklist of significant items to review with your professional advisors.

Is the Estate Tax Dead?

By Lisa Powell | October 20, 2015

Is the estate tax dead? Only two out of every 1,000 estates will be subject to the federal estate tax in 2015. The question for planners is, how long will the federal exemption remain so high?