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”


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.

Nevada Trusts That Trim Your State Income Tax


The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about a popular strategy involving trusts in Nevada and a handful of other states.  The NING trust, which stand for “Nevada Incomplete Non-Grantor” Trusts shift investments from the home state to Nevada,which has no state-level income tax.  For people in California and other high-tax states, this can be a very powerful strategy.  As the article notes, there are a few considerations and risks, but for those with sizable portfolios, and angel and venture capital investments, using a NING to hold these investments can trim or even eliminate local-level taxes.  Nevada is consider the best state in the country to establish your family trust and has received an A+ from Forbes magazine for its trust laws.  You do not have to live in Nevada to establish a trusts here.  Please call Greg Crawford, Co-Manager of Alliance Trust in Reno at 775-297-4684 for more information.

State of the Union to Propose Stealth Increase of Estate Taxes


The Wall Street Journal and numerous other media outlets are reporting that the State of the Union address on Tuesday will outline a proposal by the President to effectively increase estate taxes.  In the proposal, appreciated assets in an estate would not receive an updated or “stepped up” tax basis on death.  Only a small amount of gains, suggested as $200,000 in portfolio assets and $500,000 in a primary residence would be shielded from tax.  Although these numbers may seem large, ask many families what their tax-cost basis is in desirable places to live, such as Silicon Valley and other parts of California, and you will see that this proposal would capture many more families with a taxable event on death even without a formal change to the estate tax rules.  There are many estate planning strategies that can help with families facing estate tax burdens.  Some of the best strategies use Nevada Trusts – the best state for asset protection and tax minimization.  Please call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684 for more information.

Encore Presentation of Greg Crawford on Bulls n’ Bears

For those that missed the live broadcast, there will be an encore presentation of Alliance Trusts’ Greg Crawford discussing how Nevada evolved into the best state in the country for trusts, and business entity formation.  The show airs this Sunday at 9 pm on 99.1 FM in Reno.

What types of trusts are available in Nevada that aren’t in other states?  What trusts minimize local taxes?  Estate taxes?  Or better protect assets for your heirs?  If you are in Las Vegas or other parts of the country, tune in at this link.  A podcast should be available shortly.  For additional information, the well-regarded host of Bulls n’ Bears, Ken Roberts, recently wrote about NING trusts for the Lake Tahoe Tribune.

Celebrity Estate Planning Lessons for 2014 – Apply Them in 2015

Looking back on the year for estate planning news, there are lessons that can be learned from many high-profiles estates – both good and bad.  Some successful estate stories?  Joan Rivers had the proper end-of-life documents in place, and Robin William’s estate successfully avoided probate.  On the other hand, Phillip Seymour Hoffman paid $34 million in unnecessary estate taxes and uncertainty in Tom Clancy’s plans has led to an $80 million legal battle.  All of these celebrity estate planning examples can be boiled down into everyday considerations for everyday people – you can apply the following tips to your own situation. 

1)  Think about the people you want involved in your trust – family member, corporate trustee, or perhaps co-trustee roles?

The selection of your trustee(s) is very important – ultimately they are ones which will carry out your wishes expressed in the trust and be responsible for keeping accurate bookkeeping records, filing tax returns, prudently investing trust assets and reporting to trust beneficiaries.

2)  Planning for Changing Circumstances

Families are more mobile and fragmented than ever before.  Multiple marriages and children from prior relationships are common.  State laws which govern the disposition of assets for those that die without and estate plan do not reflect modern society – the result?  Often times loved ones are disinherited.  A proper estate plan prevents this from happening.

3)  The IRS is always a consideration

Tax considerations exist at all phases in life – including death.  A properly structured estate plan can minimize estate taxes and maximize your goals for family and charitable interests.

4)  Review regularly

The most important tip – review your estate plan.  not only do aspects of your life change, but the laws change too.  Are your charitable interest changing?  Did a named beneficiary pass away or become incapacitated? Did your successor trustee move away?   Is a beneficiary about to get a divorce?  All of these common changes in life can have a dramatic impact on your plan.  It should be reviewed regularly.

Nevada has some of the best trust laws in the USA, and many families outside of Nevada choose Nevada as a location for their family trust.  Nevada trust law better protects your assets for your family and charitable interests, and can be designed to last 100′s of years.  Most other states do not offer this amount of flexibility.  To learn more about Nevada Trusts call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Alliance Trust Company in The New York Times


Alliance Trust’s Greg Crawford appeared in the New York Times over the weekend, discussing the issue of “perpetual trusts.”  The link to the article is here.  Trust law in the United States evolved from England, which via case law established the “Rule Against Perpetuities” in 1682.  This law, refined by future cases,  effectively limited trust duration to approximately 90-100 years.  Recently, many states and foreign countries have either repealed the rule or have extended the duration of trusts far beyond the legal relic of the rule.  Nevada trusts can last for as long as 365 years.  In the NYT Greg discusses how a Nevada court would react to another court asserting jurisdiction over a Nevada trust, and how Nevada protects its trust and estates industry.  Alliance has worked for years with the legislature to enhance and protect what many consider to be the best trust laws in the country.  If you have questions as to how a Nevada trust could benefit you and your family for generations to come, call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Trusts Aren’t Just for the Rich – National Radio Appearance

In a recent excellent article on the use of family trusts, CBS Marketwatch author Ken Roberts detailed why trusts are so important for all families, not just wealthy ones.  If you only have a will, your assets must be re-titled to your heirs via a lengthy and costly probate process.  Additionally, probate is public process, giving all of your friends, family neighbors and others easy access to see the size and disposition of your assets, on-line.  A revocable living trust is far superior – properly structured it is faster, less expensive and private.

Once you have engaged an attorney to draft an estate plan, he or she may recommend an irrevocable  trust.   These trusts are typically used by those with assets of $0.5 million and above, and can serve a variety of tax and asset protection strategies.  Irrevocable trusts can be placed in any state the grantor (the person who establishes the trust) wishes, and most agree that Nevada is a top-choice nationally for family trusts.  A Nevada irrevocable trust can better protect your assets for your family, potentially trim taxes and last for many generations.  For more on  Nevada and why it is popular, listen to this recent national radio broadcast featuring well-regarded Las Vegas attorney Steve Oshins and Alliance’s Greg Crawford.  For more questions, please call Greg Crawford at 775-297-4684.

Wealth and Business Attracted to Northern Nevada

Apple and (hopefully) Tesla are the largest companies to join a growing trend that families and advisors have known for years: Nevada is a great place to do business and domicile wealth. Nevada’s wealth friendly tax and trust laws help protect assets from creditors and income tax, while solving many planning issues many families face. Using a Nevada Trustee such as Alliance Trust Company, families can shield their hard earned wealth, while retaining a high level of control over the management over investment accounts.

Nevada’s trust and tax laws all follow the top trends in estate planning giving families access to the most advanced planning opportunities in the country. Alliance Trust Company’s clients retain their local investment and tax advisors through Nevada’s Directed Trust Statue, seamlessly protecting assets for generations.

For more information on the benefits of using Alliance Trust Company, call Philip Brown at 775-297-4277.


Larry Ellison Sells a Lake Tahoe, Nevada Property for $20 Million


Wealthy Californians have relocated and reshaped Nevada for generations.  Automotive magnets, technology pioneers and entertainers all seek to benefit from Nevada’s Structural Alpha.  The attractive business environment and the best trusts laws in the country offer Californians the opportunity to better protect their families and charitable interests, while also minimizing taxes (free download of strategies here).  The calm cool breezes in Lake Tahoe, and myriad of entertainment and dining options in Las Vegas don’t hurt either. It looks like another sale of a property is bring in another new Californian to Nevada with the sale of one of the premier properties on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.  The transaction, announced by the Wall Street Journal today, was curiously structured into a California LLC (Nevada has more favorable LLCs laws than CA).  We at Alliance suspect that this will be correctly shortly.  People of all levels of wealth regularly use Nevada in their estate planning.  For more information on how your family can benefit from Nevada laws, without requiring relocation, please contact Greg Crawford at Alliance Trust in Reno, 775-297-4684.

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