As part of our continuing effort towards thought leadership, McManus & Associates recently presented The Wall Street Journal with our impressions on the newest estate planning paradigm. The firm’s ideas helped shape a comprehensive, informative cover story in the Weekend Investor by well-versed Reporter Laura Saunders. The article, titled “The New Rules of Estate Planning,” also highlighted the Grevatt Family, one of our clients, for whom we employed a smart strategy in today’s environment.
Gerry Beyer, Professor of Law at Texas Tech Univ. School of Law, recently shared on his blog financial tactics and maintenance items related to estate planning to apply before 2014. “Wills, Trusts, and Estates Prof Blog” is a member of the Law Professor Blogs Network sponsored by Wolters Kluwer, and the list of tactics and maintenance items originally came from McManus & Associates. Here are the 10 estate planning questions to ask yourself before 2013:
- Should I change my estate plan before laws change in 2014?
- Is your partnership validly maintained?
- If making gifts to loved ones, are you exceeding your exemption amount?
- Are you employing the most current estate planning strategies?
- Are you making the most of income tax deductions?
- Do the fiduciaries named in your estate planning documents still reflect your wishes?
- Are you using the best strategies when making year-end charitable gifts?
- Are your cash donations from an IRA to charity being properly made?
- Should you consider using a GRAT or a QPRT?
- How should you harvest capital gains and time long-term losses?
Don’t miss our next free educational conference call, which will be held this month! Contact us for details at 908-898-0100.
Gerry Beyer, Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law, recently featured on his blog McManus & Associates’ latest educational conference call, “Top 10 Things to Know to Make the Most of Life Insurance in Estate Planning.” As pointed out by Beyer, using life insurance in your estate plan can provide significant protection for your loved ones.
To see the top 10 questions to ask yourself when estate planning with life insurance, read Beyer’s post. And check out more hot topics related to estate planning by visiting “Wills, Trusts, and Estates Prof Blog,” a member of the Law Professor Blogs Network sponsored by Wolters Kluwer.
Gerry Beyer, Professor of Law at Texas Tech Univ. School of Law, writes “Wills, Trusts, and Estates Prof Blog,” a member of the Law Professor Blogs Network sponsored by Wolters Kluwer. Beyer recently took a closer look at the most recent educational conference call held by McManus & Associates and posted a brief, titled “10 Most Important Considerations for Domestic Asset Protection Dynasty Trusts.”
From the post:
Jurisdictions have different laws when it comes to determining the jurisdiction of trusts and trust property. Founding Principal of McManus & Associates, John O. McManus, has shared his expertise by listing the ten most important considerations for deciding where to site your trust. Listed below are the considerations.
To read Beyer’s post and find a wealth of information on estate planning, head on over to Wills, Trusts, and Estates Prof Blog at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/.
With the flurry of trusts created over the past two years that peaked as we approached the “fiscal cliff,” guidance on how to properly maintain and operate these wealth transfer vehicles is useful. Now that they are in motion, who is at the helm?
During this 30-minute call, McManus & Associates reviews strategies to ensure that your trust operates properly as it advances your estate planning and wealth transfer goals. John O. McManus also discusses the special provisions for life insurance trusts, payment of taxes on income earned by trust assets and the new planning ideas utilizing the trust as a leading instrument to accomplish the mission.
- Are all trust accounts, real property owned by trust and life insurance policies held in trust correctly titled?
- How does the tax basis of an asset and its projected future growth affect future planning? What future swaps of assets might you consider?
- How do we avoid common filing and reporting errors, especially payment of income taxes? If it’s a grantor trust, do we file an income tax return?
- Now that the trust is funded what post-funding strategies can be employed to impact the trust to better meet your goals?
- If you have not used the full exemption amount, ($5.25MM), should you consider making additional gifts now to further “freeze” the estate.
- If your life insurance has been transferred to trust, are you properly maintaining the trust to address annual payments?
- When and why should you transfer a trust to an asset-protected state? Are there any actions pending against an individual who is a beneficiary of the trust or you, the grantor? What states are most favorable?
- When should you consider an institutional trustee? What are the pros and cons? When an individual is named as trustee, does he know his responsibilities?
- When your trust owns your primary residence, how should you cover expenses, insurance and titling? If you are the occupying tenant, have we formalized a lease agreement?
- How should you make distributions when the family business or other corporate entity (LLC, partnership, etc) is owned by a trust? Are two transactions necessary?
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.
Reporter Katherine Reynolds Lewis has written a valuable article for FORTUNE that sheds light on how employers and managers can best show appreciation for their employees – fittingly published at a time when Americans are focused on giving thanks. Lewis’ story, “The best way to give thanks at work,” is introduced with a couple lines that get to the root of where there’s disconnect and the point of the piece: “Bosses may think they’re showing gratitude to their staff, but more often than not, those thanks are not heard or believed. How to bridge the gratitude gap.”
Lewis notes that “for a thank-you to be perceived as meaningful, it should be specifically connected to the recipient, her preferences, and her accomplishments.”
To illustrate this advice, Lewis uses an example of McManus & Associates Founding Principal John O. McManus expressing his thanks in a special, individualized way for the firm’s beloved team member Elizabeth Fojtu:
…when John McManus was looking for a way to thank one of the wealth advisors at his estate and tax-planning firm for pushing through a recent deluge of work, he decided on a trip to Le Chateau Frontenac, a Quebec hotel that captures the Old World charm of Europe. The employee has children the same age as McManus’, who loved their own Canadian vacation, and she met her Europe-born husband in a similarly charming venue: Prague. “That connection had even more meaning to her,” McManus says.
To read more about what Lewis found exploring the topic of giving thanks at work, go to http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/11/21/the-best-way-to-give-thanks-at-work/.