Estate Planning Strategies Columns for the Journal of Financial Services Professionals

Since May, 2003, Dennis Reardon has written an “Estate Planning Strategies” column for the Journal of Financial Service Professionals. The following is an index of those columns in reverse chronological order, followed by abstracts of those columns for the past several years.

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FSP ARTICLE 2016 JAN

DO YOU STILL NEED AN IRREVOCABLE TRUST FOR LIFE INSURANCE?

The heart of the question includes whether clients who are affluent, but not going to be subject to federal estate tax, should maintain an existing irrevocable trust in view of the current estate tax law. Closely related is the question of what the future estate tax law might be. Predictions on that score are dicey, especially when one projects a client’s own life expectancy and tries to match it with a projection as to future asset values and the estate tax law.

FSP Article 2016 Jan (Click here to download PDF)

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FSP ARTICLE 2015 JAN

FSP Article 2015 JanHEDGING TECHNIQUES IN ESTATE PLANNING

In dealing with various forms of calculated risk, understanding how to play the probabilities can allow a transaction to be successful, or at least to avoid an untoward result. The key point for the estate planner to consider is that hedging can permit strategies based on opposite premises to complement each other.

FSP Article 2015 Jan(Click here to download PDF)

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FSP ARTICLE 2015 SEPT

ESTATE PLANNING FOR FAMILY BUSINESS OWNERS

Aligning the division of assets of a family business owner for estate planning purposes can often be a challenging proposition for both clients and advisors. However, everyone involved may have to recognize that reaching a solution may require both patience and a practical sense that the “perfect is the enemy of the good.” The choice of solutions possible offers a great opportunity for the imaginative estate planner to offer lasting value to the family business owner.

FSP Article September 2015(Click here to download PDF)

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FSP Article 2014 Sept

Planning for Disability with Marital Trusts

The General Power of Appointment Marital Trust, complete with a means of establishing whether a mental disability has occurred, can provide great flexibility in planning for both the near and far future. If one spouse dies when the other spouse is mentally clear and functioning independently, the trust may be maintained or effectively ended by the survivor. On the other hand, if one spouse dies when the survivor needs help with his or her finances, the trust can ensure that help is available to maintain the financial well-being of the survivor even if mental disability has occurred.

FSP Article 2014 Sept (Click here to download PDF)

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FSP Article 2014 May

Should Assets Stay in a Nonmarital Trust or Be Distributed to a Surviving Spouse?

With the twists and turns that have affected both estate tax planning and income tax planning, certain long-held assumptions may need close examination. A variety of factors may sustain the continuation of a nonmarital trust. However, in certain cases it may be best to reconsider, particularly if the remainder beneficiaries receive no estate tax benefit and wonder why they wound up with income tax expense that could have been avoided.

FSP Article 2014 May (Click here to download PDF)

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FSP Article 2014 Jan

Estate Plans Reconsidered with New Tax Rates

When avoiding estate taxation as the primary objective of the trust, the trustee with discretionary control over income might not distribute income to a beneficiary if the income was unlikely to be spent. Making distributions to a beneficiary who would keep the income would defeat the purpose of the trust to shelter funds from estate taxation. That dynamic may be altogether changed by the expended estate tax exemption and higher income tax rates. Now it’s often better to distribute income to the trust beneficiary to avoid the greater tax costs incurred when the highest tax bracket applies to the trust.

FSP Article 2014 Jan (Click here to download PDF)

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FSP Article 2013 Sept

Transfer Taxes Stay but Low Interest Rates May Go

We have just seen pronouncements by the Federal Reserve that lead to the conclusion that interest rates will be rising in the future. This column spells out planning opportunities in a low-rate environment. The planning opportunities cited in this column will not vanish overnight. However, those now persuaded to act should put plans in motion sooner, rather than later.

FSP Article 2013 Sept (Click here to download PDF)

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