Category - Estate Planning

Utah Law Can Prevent Trust Litigation

March 6, 2018

One of the main reasons people choose to use a trust for their estate planning is the desire to avoid probate (i.e., court proceedings) and thereby preserve privacy.  In the normal course, there is nothing that prevents trust litigation.  Happily, Utah has a law designed to do just that. Let’s first review the fact that […]

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Certificate of Trust and the difference between what a bank may request and what it actually needs

March 3, 2018

Just because a bank requests information, that does not necessarily mean the bank is entitled to receive such information.  By way of introduction, I spent several years working directly for some of the world’s largest banks while I was employed at a large firm in downtown Chicago.  Since then, I have continued to interact with […]

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Estate planning mistakes can be expensive to fix.

February 26, 2018

… — that is, when they can be fixed at all. This is the introduction to an article that I saw online today from Liz Weston, titled “Should you do your estate plan?”  I agree with the premise of the article.  Sadly, it is all too often the case that estate planning mistakes made by […]

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You don’t know what you don’t know.

February 23, 2018

This is true for all of us in many areas of our life and concerning a good many subjects. Consider a hypothetical situation where a man walks into his accountant’s office to ask a few questions.  (Hopefully, that man was courteous enough to make an appointment, rather than just dropping in.)  This gentleman owns a small […]

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What is a living trust and why should you care?

February 16, 2018

This is a common question dealt with nicely by a Huffington Post article by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP. Among the items covered by this helpful online article are the following: basic estate planning starts with a Will, which covers the appointing of a guardian for minor children and provides a very basic framework for asset distribution upon […]

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Estate planning mistakes to avoid (U.S. News article)

January 3, 2018

It is always better to learn from the mistakes of others than to make the same mistakes yourself. This is certainly true when it comes to estate planning–wise folks will learn from and avoid very common mistakes made by far too many individuals. Often, these are tragic and very costly mistakes. A few months ago, […]

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The value of expertise–a recurring theme

January 2, 2018

The cost of screws and a metal plate is not the proper test of value for a surgical procedure. This is not a new subject. Rather, it is a repeated theme. There seems to be a common disconnect between experience and expertise on the one hand and price and value on the other hand–at least […]

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Do I need an estate plan?

December 21, 2017

Yes. If you have anyone or anything you care about, you need an estate plan. Perhaps a more helpful question, then, is what type of estate plan do you need, and why? There is a good article on Fidelity.com dealing with this very subject and many of the same considerations I would advise my clients […]

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Estate tax to stay or go? Who cares?

December 13, 2017

As of this morning, the word out of Washington is that the Republicans in the House and the Senate have agreed on a deal for tax reform. We should know more details in the coming days. The fate of the estate tax is still among the unknown points, but many believe that the estate tax

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Tax reform bill passes Senate. One last hurdle remains

December 2, 2017

Early Saturday morning, the Senate Republicans pushed through their version of the tax reform bill by the closest of margins–i.e., a 51-49 vote. Job done? Nope. Now the Republican leaders from the House of Representatives and the Senate must get together to reconcile the differences between the bills each chamber of the legislature passed. Below

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