Current Developments in Estate Planning and Business Law: September 2021

By WealthCounsel Staff on Sep 10, 2021 11:59:49 AM

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From an extension to elect out of automatic allocations of the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption to alternative business structures for legal services, we have recently seen significant developments in estate planning and business law. To ensure that you stay abreast of these legal changes, we have highlighted some noteworthy developments and analyzed how they may impact your estate planning and business law practice.

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Tax Apportionment 101: Planning with Retirement Assets

By WealthCounsel Staff on Sep 3, 2021 10:00:00 AM

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When the federal estate tax exemption is high, the issue of how to apportion death taxes is of less concern to many families. But this issue can cause controversy with taxable estates, blended families, and certain types of assets. If the decedent’s will or trust is silent on the issue of tax apportionment or the decedent died intestate, state law provides default rules that determine which interests or assets in a decedent’s estate bear the burden of paying death taxes. If a certain interest is insufficient to pay the net tax attributable to property passing under the terms of the trust, state law often also provides an order of priority for payment of the balance of the tax owed. However, the terms of the decedent’s will or trust can override these rules; that is, everyone has the opportunity to direct how taxes (and expenses, for that matter) will be paid. In a taxable estate, this may be the most important provision in the testamentary instrument.

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Protecting Assets for the Next Generation

By WealthCounsel Staff on Aug 27, 2021 10:00:00 AM

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Fall is often associated with back-to-school time, when many clients focus on their children’s educational future. This makes fall the perfect time for estate planning attorneys to remind their clients how important it is to take steps to secure their children’s financial future as well. By incorporating asset protection in their estate plan, clients can not only provide an inheritance for their children but also protect the inheritance from creditors, a soon-to-be ex-spouse, and poor money management that can quickly deplete hard-earned assets. 

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