Here’s a brief glance at what you’ll find in January/February 2015 issue of The Estate Planner
Life insurance: A powerful estate planning tool for nontaxable estates
For years, life insurance has provided a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. But, with the estate tax exemption above $5 million, estate taxes are no longer a concern for the vast majority of families. Even for nontaxable estates, however, life insurance continues to offer significant estate planning benefits. As this article explains, life insurance can not only replace lost income, but wealth as well, in a variety of contexts. And it can be a way to support charities in a cost-effective manner. A sidebar explains that, even in a nontaxable estate, an irrevocable life insurance trust offers significant benefits.
4 ways to transfer a family business
The best approach to selling one’s business depends on the particular circumstances. For those whose net worth is well within the estate tax exemption, for example, it might be best to focus on reducing income taxes. But those who expect their estate to be significantly larger than the exemption amount may be more concerned with estate tax reduction. This article offers four estate-tax-wise techniques to transfer a family business — all of them involving “defective” trusts.
Changing family makeup requires estate plan review
Today’s American families have grown increasingly diverse. Besides the typical nuclear family, a family may include unmarried parents of adopted children or married parents with unadopted stepchildren. Those whose family’s demographics have recently changed need to revisit their estate plan. This article takes a close look at a few specific family makeups, and what steps need to be taken to clearly resolve such matters as parental custody and asset distribution.
Estate Planning Red Flag: You don’t have a health care power of attorney
What happens if illness, injury or age-related dementia renders a person unable to make decisions or communicate their wishes regarding their health care or financial affairs? Unless their estate plan addresses these situations, the family may be forced to seek a court-appointed guardian. This article explains the importance of creating a health care power of attorney, which appoints a representative to make medical decisions on behalf of a person who is incapacitated.