McManus Pens Expert Article for Thomson Reuters Practical Tax Strategies

INTRA-FAMILY LOANS

GIVING THE GIFT OF A LOAN

Intra-family loans can provide tax benefits to both lenders and borrowers if properly structured.

JOHN O. McMANUS

JOHN O. McMANUS is a top AV-rated estate planning attorney and the founding principal of TriState Area-based McManus & Associates (www.mcmanuslegal.com).

When it comes to wealth management, sometimes the gray area is the sweet spot. There are often legitimate opportunities for growing and preserving assets beyond the welldefined, black-and-white tax rules. Identifying these legal loopholes can greatly benefit a client and his or her loved ones, without breaking any laws.

Gifting as a loan, or intra-family loans, is an estate planning technique which, under rules set forth in the Code, allows a significant amount of money to be transferred to a family member with a customized repayment plan—sans the gift tax implications. Also, there are no concrete limitations on the family members who can be borrowers or the trusts for their benefit. With carefully structured lending— through a promissory note, for example—the borrower is able to take advantage of interest rates below those charged by commercial lenders, as the government allows relatives to pay a very low, “safe harbor” interest rate. In a parent-child relationship, the child then pays back the loan over time.

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McManus Interviewed for Wall Street Journal’s “Watching Your Wealth” Podcast

In the Wall Street Journal’s newest “Watching Your Wealth” podcast, Veronica Dagher interviews McManus & Associates Founding Principal John O. McManus on red flags that warn you your adult kids are using you for your money and/or are trying to get a bigger share of your estate. In the episode, Veronica does a “fun estate planning quiz” with John, as well, and asks him to share the best and worst estate planning advice he’s ever heard, what an estate can and can’t buy, and what he would do with $1M after tax if he inherited it.

Click here to listen to the quick, 11-minute episode: http://bit.ly/2pckWFo

To set up a time to discuss the family dynamics impacting your estate plan with the McManus & Associates team, give us a call at 908-898-0100.

Are Your Adult Children Using You For Your Money?

McManus & Associates’ John McManus discusses the red flags your children may be taking advantage of you financially and how to better communicate with them about money.

11 min: LISTEN

 

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McManus Guidance on How Parents Can Help Protect Young-Adult Children Featured in College Series

Colleen Moriarty, a seasoned health and lifestyle writer and a staff writer for Addiction.com, recently tapped McManus & Associates for advice on important legal documents that should be put in place for children who are already 18 or will soon be of legal age before they head off to school. Her article, “Help Your Child Stay Safe at College”, is part of a series called Off to College 2015: The First Six Weeks.

Moriarty’s article opens by shedding light on the importance of planning ahead to protect college-bound children, because, as McManus points out:

“If an accident, emergency, mental health crisis or trouble with substance abuse should arise after your son or daughter’s 18th birthday, you have little or no legal right to step in without legal documents that explicitly give you that authority.”

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DailyFinance Cites Tips from McManus on Legal Decisions That Should Be Triggered When a Child Turns 18

Daily FinanceIn the eyes of the legal and financial world, an 18th birthday represents a major shift. Motley Fool Contributing Writer Michele Lerner’s latest DailyFinance story, “Parents: Are You Legally Ready for Your Kids to Be Adults?” utilizes tips from McManus & Associates to show families steps that should be considered when a child turns 18.

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Top 10 Ways to Protect Children Under 18 and Over 18, Stateside and Abroad

Even for children who have newly become legal adults, parents need to be empowered to make decisions to help protect them in times of need. Laying out important considerations for families to discuss before and after children turn 18, McManus & Associates – top-rated, Tri-State-Area-based trusts and estates law firm – today released the newest edition of its educational focus series. The discussion, “Top 10 Ways to Protect Children Under 18 and Over 18, Stateside and Abroad,” identifies questions parents should evaluate, from who should be named as local representatives on a health care proxy for minors to whether a prenuptial agreement is appropriate if an adult child is soon getting married.

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DailyFinance Shares How McManus Helped Clients Avoid Estate Planning Nightmares

Daily FinanceEstate planning nightmares don’t just exist in dreams. Writing for DailyFinance, Reporter Michele Lerner relays several real-life horror stories that arose—and certainly have been replicated in similar forms far and wide—due to families neglecting to have detailed conversations about inheritance plans. “According to the 2014 Intra-Family Generational Finance Study by Fidelity Investments,” Lerner writes, “64 percent of parents older than 55 who have at least $100,000 in investable assets and their adult children over 30 aren’t on the same page about when the right time is to have conversations about estate planning.”

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John O. McManus Pictured and Quoted in the New York Times

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New York Times “Wealth Matters” columnist Paul Sullivan recently interviewed John O. McManus, founding principal of NJ-based McManus & Associates and a top AV-rated attorney, about the implications of a recent court case in which he successfully helped a client named Kate contest the will of her late grandmother. John grasped the dynamics at play in Kate’s situation with her family, which was crucial to a successful outcome with the case.

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New York Family Publishes Article by McManus on Estate Planning for High-Income Household

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Estate Planning For High-Income Households

A local expert weighs in on the top 10 considerations

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Mommy Blog Brings Estate Planning Advice to Readers

motherhood moment

Motherhood Moment, an advice mecca for moms, recently shared with readers guidance from the latest McManus & Associates’ educational conference call (we love the idea that moms can benefit from our focus series, because our practice not only provides asset protection, but helps continue a legacy of family values through generations). In a Motherhood Moment post titled, “Thrifty Thinking: Estate Planning with Life Insurance,” it’s noted that the use of life insurance in one’s estate plan can provide significant protection for loved ones, whether as a wealth replacement strategy combined with philanthropic giving or as a safeguard to cover expenses and taxes.

The post highlights the most important considerations when planning with life insurance and lists the 10 questions below for which Motherhood Moment readers should find answers:

  1. If a life insurance policy is owned by a trust, what is the ongoing maintenance required for the strategy to succeed most effectively?
  1. What are Cristofani beneficiaries and how can they make a life insurance trust even more gift tax efficient?
  1. How can insurance be utilized to facilitate a business succession plan?
  1. Term, whole life, 2nd to die – from a layman’s standpoint, what are the unique benefits of each?
  1. How can ownership and beneficiary designations for a life insurance policy affect the taxable assets of the estate?
  1. How do non-citizens avoid qualified domestic trust requirements with a life insurance trust?
  1. What are some strategies to avoid the three-year look-back period when existing insurance is transferred to a trust?
  1. Annual exemption gifts can fund a life insurance trust gift tax-free, but what about generation-skipping tax issues? How is the trust affected?
  1. When the terms of an irrevocable trust do not reflect the wishes of the parties, what options are available?
  1. How can life insurance be used as a wealth replacement strategy with charitable giving?

For more tips and tricks for families, visit Motherhood Moment here.

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Wall Street Journal Cites Tips on Family Meetings from John McManus

On May 11th, an article by Kelly Greene titled “When It’s Time to Huddle” appeared on page B8 in The Wall Street Journal. Greene’s story discusses an important issue that families across America are facing every day: complicated financial and legal planning for elderly relatives. In the piece, Greene relays key tips for tackling this challenge:

Be inclusive.

Don’t delay.

Hire a professional referee.

Set an agenda in advance.

Tap long-distance relatives.

Under “Don’t delay,” Greene captures advice from McManus & Associates Founding Principal John O. McManus that “families should hold meetings before any serious health problems develop.” From the article:

John McManus, an estate-planning lawyer in New Providence, N.J., says there is a “gaping hole” in family planning around preparing for parents’ aging. He considers instituting family meetings among his clients’ families, and in his own, one of his top professional and personal priorities, he says.

“Meetings are critical for getting ideas out on the table,” Mr. McManus says. “There is no one correct answer on how to deal with Mom or Dad’s health issue,” so it’s helpful to have time to think through the choices as a family.

For more tips, check out the full story. And for guidance on how to handle family meetings addressing the health of older loved ones, give McManus & Associates a call at (908) 898-0100.

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