Are you and your spouse considering “splitting” gifts?

Gift splitting can be a valuable estate planning tool, allowing you and your spouse to maximize the amount of wealth you can transfer tax-free. But in some cases, it can have undesirable consequences, so be sure that you understand the implications before making an election to split gifts. Gifts of separate property Gift splitting is […]

Opening up to SLAT opportunities

Estate tax planning can become complicated when multiple parties are involved. For example, you may be concerned about providing assets to a surviving spouse of a second marriage, while also providing for your children from your first marriage. Of course, you also want to take advantage of favorable estate tax provisions in the law. Fortunately, […]

Clarity counts when it comes to estate planning documents

Precise language is critical in wills, trusts and other estate planning documents. A lack of clarity may be an invitation to litigation. An example of this is the dispute that arose after Tom Petty’s death, between his widow and his two daughters from a previous marriage. (The two parties have since resolved their differences and […]

Avoiding undue influence claims

A primary purpose of estate planning is to ensure that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes after you die. But if a family member challenges the plan, that purpose may be defeated. If the challenge is successful, a judge will decide who’ll inherit your property. Will contests and similar challenges often occur when […]

Can a charitable remainder trust achieve similar results as the formerly available “stretch” IRA?

The “stretch” IRA generally no longer exists. But if you have a substantial balance in a traditional IRA, a properly designed charitable remainder trust (CRT) can allow you to replicate many of its benefits. SECURE Act’s effects on stretch IRAs For years, a stretch IRA was an effective tool that allowed your children or other […]