Estate planning

Latest Stories

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?

Do You Need Life Insurance When You Retire?

By Raymond Caucci | February 10, 2015

The traditional thinking about life insurance is that you only need life insurance when you have an income to protect, when you have a mortgage, or when you have kids to support. Once you hit 65 and retire, says the myth, you don’t need life insurance. That is not true.

10 Tips to Ensure Your Beneficiary Designations Square with Your Estate Plan

By Eva Victor | February 3, 2015

Estate planning uses many tools to transfer assets to beneficiaries and heirs. However, there is one area of estate planning that is often overlooked: the disposition of many assets following an individual’s death may be directed not by Will, trust, or other planning document – but by contractual beneficiary designation.

Estate Planning for Today’s Modern Family

By Margaret Muldoon | January 27, 2015

It is a sign of the times that one of the most popular TV network series is ABC’s Modern Family, now in its sixth season. The show features engaging characters who reflect many dimensions of non-traditional families.