Advanced Estate Planning

Eight Common Estate Planning Objectives Of Married Couples

As the previous posts demonstrate, estate planners still struggle with how to structure estate plans for married couples in order to accomplish both the tax and nontax objectives of such couples. Introducing the portability election into the arena has only made such choices even more varied. If you asked 10 different […] Read...

Estate Planning News – April 22nd, 2014 – IRA Inheritance

In this week’s Estate Planning News, our firm has highlighted the oft-overlooked area of Estate Planning and IRAs. We chose three articles that explain different IRA planning strategies, ideas, and perspectives on how IRAs can and should be used in an Estate Plan. Retirement accounts, in general, are governed by strict regulation and need to be handled carefully by well-informed parties. This digest should arm readers with information to adequately discuss their plans with a qualified professional. If You Are the Surviving Spouse of an IRA Owner – If you are the spouse of an IRA owner who has named you as his or her beneficiary, it’s critical that you-and the owner of the IRA-understand the rules that govern IRA inheritances. Read More at Ed Slott and Company – IRA, Tax, Retirement Planning Articles, Insight Previously, same sex married couples did not have the spousal IRA benefits of opposite-sex married couples under the tax code. These benefits include the ability to make spousal IRA contributions, tax-free splitting of IRAs in a divorce, and spousal rollovers at death. However, the IRS recently issued guidance that gives same-sex married couples the spousal IRA benefits. Read More at Understanding Who Should Be Beneficiary of Your IRA How To Turn A Modest Tax-Deferred Account Into Millions For Your Family How would you like to turn your modest tax-deferred account into millions for your family? Depending on whom you name as beneficiary, you can keep this money growing tax-deferred for not only your and your spouse’s lifetimes, but also for your children’s or grandchildren’s lifetimes. Read More at...

“Why Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney?” To Avoid a Do-it-Yourself Disaster!

Our firm frequently comes into contact with prospective clients who want to know why they should pay attorneys’ fees for an Estate Plan when they can produce “the same product,” for a fraction of the cost, by filling out a form online. Unfortunately, the pitfalls of being a DIY Estate Plan owner are common, as evidenced by a story in this month’s ABA Journal. In the article, Ann Aldrich used an “E-Z Form” to create a will which left all of her property to her sister, and then to her brother if her sister had already passed away. It seems simple enough, doesn’t it? The client had simple wishes—why should she pay an attorney to memorialize something that only amounts to two lines of text? The answer is that even if the wishes are simple, drafting a document to ensure those wishes are followed can be complex. Ms. Aldrich didn’t know that a will should include a residuary clause, which directs how assets not specifically named in the will should be handled. Because the E-Z Form that Ms. Aldrich used did not contain this clause, a considerable amount of property was subject to disposition by the provisions of the law: not Ms. Aldrich’s wishes. When property isn’t mentioned in a will, it is disposed of according to the legal rules of intestacy applicable to that state, treating it as if Ms. Aldrich didn’t have a will at all when it comes to that property. The end result of this oversight was that the daughters of one of Ms. Aldrich’s brothers (who was long dead by the time of her...

Spring 2014 Newsletter

Portability Explained Preserving Estate Tax Exemptions for Married Couples.
You’ve Been Named Successor Trustee – What Does That Mean?
FREE SEMINAR – SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE DUTIES – Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 2:00 p.m 970 W. 190TH STREET, TORRANCE, CA 90502
Spotlight: Accident Law, The Most Important Thing You Can Do Before Your Accident By James L. Pocrass, Esq. Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP