Children Facing Challenges and Your Estate Plan – You Have Options

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For a family dealing with children with handicaps or other challenges, the journey does end when the child turns age 18.  Many parents and families worry about how their adult children will fare after the parents pass away.  Fortunately,  a well crafted family estate plan can provide solutions to these problems.  Children with medical difficulties and handicaps may need a special needs trust to preserve eligibility for government aid and other programs that could be jeopardized by a sudden influx of wealth. For children dealing with substance abuse, a special purpose trust could be the answer.  In some cases, a family may consider disinheriting a child to prevent an inheritance from furthering a destructive lifestyle.  While this is an option, special legal care is needed to ensure that money does not fall into the wrong hands and situation.  Nevada is considered the best state in the country for estate planning, and may offer options and flexibility for your family’s estate plan that your home state does not.  And you do not need to be a resident of Nevada to establish and benefit from a Nevada trust.  Contact Philip Brown at Alliance Trust in Reno at 775-297-4277 to learn more about the advantages of a Nevada Trust.

Californians Using NING Trusts to Protect Assets and Trim Taxes

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Alliance Trust Company in Reno has a sizable client base in Silicon Valley, as many prominent residents in this influential area look east to Nevada when doing their estate planning.  Nevada is considered to have the best trust laws in the country, with dynasty trusts, asset protections features and no income taxes in a private, non-public structure.  Many Bay Area residents ski and vacation in Lake Tahoe, so establishing trusts in Nevada doesn’t seem as foreign as it does in South Dakota, or Delaware.  Recently, after an IRS Private Letter Ruling, a new type of trust is rapidly gaining popularity, the NING Trust.  This type of trust, known also as a “Nevada Incomplete Non-Grantor Trust” removes investments in trust from California taxes. In this excellent article by Southern California attorney Gordon Schaller, the detailed options for California residents using NINGs is covered.

 

Children Facing Challenges and Your Estate Plan – You Have Options

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For a family dealing with children with handicaps or other challenges, the journey does end when the child turns age 18.  Many parents and families worry about how their adult children will fare after the parents pass away.  Fortunately,  a well crafted family estate plan can provide solutions to these problems.  Children with medical difficulties and handicaps may need a special needs trust to preserve eligibility for government aid and other programs that could be jeopardized by a sudden influx of wealth. For children dealing with substance abuse, a special purpose trust could be the answer.  In some cases, a family may consider disinheriting a child to prevent an inheritance from furthering a destructive lifestyle.  While this is an option, special legal care is needed to ensure that money does not fall into the wrong hands and situation.  Nevada is considered the best state in the country for estate planning, and may offer options and flexibility for your family’s estate plan that your home state does not.  And you do not need to be a resident of Nevada to establish and benefit from a Nevada trust.  Contact Philip Brown at Alliance Trust in Reno at 775-297-4277 to learn more about the advantages of a Nevada Trust.

Family Partnership Discounting in Taxable Estates

The discounting of family assets held in partnerships and LLCs is a long-standing estate planning technique.  The discounts on illiquid and hard-to-value assets can significantly reduce the a family’s estate tax liability and transfer more of the family’s wealth to future generations.  However, the IRS is looking closely at the underlying assets held in these legal structures to see if such discounting arguments really hold validity.  Discounts for underlying investments which are easy to value, such as publicly traded stocks, will likely receive tighter rules and greater scrutiny very soon.  As this excellent article from Paul Sullivan at the New York Times notes, those considering using these discounting strategies should act quickly – new IRS guidelines are expected in mid-September.  Since Nevada is considered by many in the legal profession to have the best trust laws in the country, Alliance Trust is very familiar with these estate planning techniques.  Please call Greg Crawford, TEP, CFP, in Reno at 775-297-4684 for more information.

Estate Planning for Blended Families is Critical

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Family dynamics can always be challenging, but are even more so in blended families.  Friction between ex-spouses and children from other marriages can boil over when parents pass away.  If proper estate planning is not done in advance, the courts step in to divide family assets.   This is never an easy situation, and in the case of blended families this process can create great animosity.  Well regarded Nevada estate planning attorney Scott Halvorsen recently wrote an excellent article on this topic.  Nevada has some of the best trust  and estate laws in the country, and may give you more options and strategies that your home state laws.  If you have questions about how estate planning topics impact your family, please call Greg Crawford at Alliance Trust in Reno, 775-297-4684.

Your Family Inheritance Goes to Creditors, Predators and Bitter Ex-Spouses?!

A sad but familiar statistic was just released by CNBC this week, detailing that 38% of millionaire families in the US do not have an estate plan.  That means four of ten people reading this article have not taken the simple steps needed to protect their family’s future.  The article cites a variety of well-worn excuses, from the contact changes to the federal estate tax threshold to the natural reluctance to plan for and talk of your own demise.  The consequences of inaction are devastating to those left behind.  From the expense and hassles of probate, the courts naming guardians for minors, and to the very likely possibility that some or all of your assets are taken from the next generation by creditors, predictors and ex-spouses.  The reality is that with a little planning, these negative can be turned into a positive – leaving behind a legacy that helps many generations to come.  It is an old adage, but highly appropriate with this news.  The four often reading this article – all financially successful people –  haven’t planned to fail, they have failed to plan.  Nevada has the best trust laws in the country and has many estate planning strategies to better protect your family and potentially trim taxes.  You do not have to be a resident of Nevada to establish a Nevada trust.  For more information, call Greg Crawford at Alliance Trust Company in Reno at 775-297-4684.

The California Budget and Future Income Tax Outlook – NINGs Anyone?

As this article in the Economist just noted, another attempt to diversify the tax base in California failed when lawmakers passed a $115 billion dollar budget June 19th.  The revenues recognized by the state continue to be highly cyclical, and dependent on high-income earners and capital gains.  With a recovering economy, things are currently going well in the Golden State.  However, the portion of revenue raised via income taxes cyclical) continues to increase and the top 1% of wage earners pay over half of the taxes in the state.  All of this suggests that future taxation policies in California will not change, and the chances of Proposition 30’s higher tax rates sun setting in 2018 are next to zero.  If you are in a high tax bracket in California, one strong option to consider is to move your intangible assets (investments) to Nevada via trust.  As its own tax paying entity in Nevada, your family trust (a NING Trust)  would not be subject to California taxation. Please call Greg Crawford at Alliance Trust in Reno at 775-297-4684 for more information.  Nevada has some of the best and most flexible trust laws in the country – it is worth a phone call to find out if Nevada has options for your family.

A Famous Coach’s Last Wishes: “A nice dinner on me”

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Described as a mentor, teacher and second father to many of his players during his historic career, by all accounts Dean Smith was a very decent man.  He coached the University of North Carolina basketball team to two National Championships, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award granted to civilians in the United States.  When he passed away last month at age 83, many gathered together paid their respects.  Now, thanks to the coach’s estate plan, there will be another excuse for his players to gather.  The trustee has written all of the letterman of Dean Smith’s team that his estate plan included a provision for his former players to enjoy a nice dinner out, with $200 checks sent to each of them – a total of over $35,000.   While this may surprise some, a solid estate plan can accomplish a wide variety of wishes – in this case a desire to recognize his players after passing.  A trust is an extremely flexible document, and Nevada is considered to have some of the best (most flexible)  trust laws in the country.  For more information, call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Relocating Out-of-State? It’s Important to Update Your Estate Plan

Many people move as part of their careers, or move when they retire to more favorable climates and tax environments.  It’s almost a cliché how New Yorkers retire to Florida, and how Californians are moving to Nevada.  In fact, Florida just surpassed New York’s population and Nevada is now the second fastest growing state in the country.  Often lost in the excitement of a new chapter in life, is the need to update your estate plan.  An excellent article by Nevada attorney Scott Halvorsen addresses the issue here.  Of course your estate plan should always be reviewed when buying or selling property, but also for additional critical issues related to your living will/healthcare directives.  Estate planning laws vary significantly from state to state, and all aspects of your plan should be reviewed whenever one relocates.  Nevada is consider to have the best  estate planning and trust laws in the country.  For more information, contact Greg Crawford at Alliance Trust Company in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Updating an Antiquated Family Trust in Nevada

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Many people are beneficiaries of family trusts that have antiquated terms and provisions that no longer make sense.  Yet many people also believe that they are “stuck” with the terms of the trust and that them simply have to live with the terms regardless moving forward.  This is not true.  Certain states, including Nevada, allow for modifications to be made to even an irrevocable trust.  Modifications can be made to extend the term of the trust, change the situs of the trust, and add or modify powers of appointment.  As this recent Forbes magazine article points out, you might even save taxes for the trust as part of this process.  Nevada is considered to have some of the best trust laws in the country and has very flexible statutes for modifying trusts.  For more information, call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684.

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