There’s a Good Chance You Were Affected by the Equifax Data Breach

The data breach of Equifax, one of the big three major credit reporting agencies, has exposed the sensitive, personal information of 143 million Americans, according to news reports. The breach lasted from mid-May through July, 2017 according to Equifax. Hackers gained access to people’s names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some cases,… Read More »

Valuation Discounts Appear to Be Sticking Around

Recent developments on Capitol Hill appear to show that valuation discounts for family-owned businesses are not going away anytime soon. In April, President Donald Trump issued an executive order requiring the U.S. Treasury to identify within 60 days any regulations that impose an undue financial burden on taxpayers, add undue complexity to federal tax laws,… Read More »

Should Jointly Held Assets Go Into a Trust?

We’re often asked by new clients whether they should put jointly held property into a revocable trust (a.k.a. living trust). The answer is often yes. However, what ends up going into that trust depends on the structure by which the assets are held jointly by the client, as well as the structure of the trust… Read More »

Do Trustees Have a Duty to Decant?

The irrevocable trust is a powerful protection tool. If written properly by an experienced estate planning attorney, it can secure your wealth and property for intended loved ones for generations to come. But you can’t anticipate everything – including whether an heir will divorce and possibly expose a large portion of trust assets to an… Read More »

Consider a GRAT to Reduce Risk of Gift Taxes

One of the most powerful estate and gift tax strategies you can employ is temporarily freezing the value of an asset that will be worth more later with a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT). When stocks and real estate are at a low, this can be a powerful tool, assuming you (the grantor) believe the… Read More »

Should You Name a Trust Protector in Your Estate Plan?

The concept of a Trust Protector was typically found only in domestic and offshore asset protection trusts. However, since trusts are becoming more common as the “go to” estate planning tool, the Trust Protector concept is making its way into even the least complex of estate plans. Trusts provide control, privacy, and protection. Throw in… Read More »

Estate Plans Aren’t Just About Avoiding Probate

Avoiding probate, reducing taxes, providing for heirs, and protecting a family business. These are the more popular reasons that most clients share when they start talking about why they want to establish an estate plan. However, there are several other less-discussed reasons that might prompt you to establish an estate plan. Recently, WealthManagement.com published an… Read More »

5 Financial Gifts You Should Consider Making

Making a financial gift during this holiday season is more than a generous gesture to a loved one. It can also be a very powerful planning strategy. The Wall Street Journal recently published a timely article on four financial gifts to consider. We agree with the article, but we would like to make one addition… Read More »