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Family Business Succession Planning is a Process

My clients would tell you that I am a bit of a “technocrat” when it comes to family business succession planning. I have always been intrigued by rolling GRATs, intra-family loans, installment sales to grantor trusts, etc. But I know, … Continue reading

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Business Owners and Estate Tax Planning

I was talking to a friend of mine at a recent Chamber of Commerce event, and we started to talk about the new estate tax. My friend owns three Internet businesses. He said that his businesses, prior to the Great … Continue reading

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Asset Protection Planning – The First Step is Liability Insurance

I have been approached several times by clients who are seeking asset protection planning for their businesses and investments where the client is most interested in talking about the “interesting” things, such as foreign asset protection trusts, cross-collateral agreements, and … Continue reading

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Legacy Decisions and Business Succession Planning

One of the major challenges of estate planning is, without a doubt, business succession planning . All businesses, whether large or small, are complex assets, which inevitably raise many special issues involving insurance, finance, taxes, and a host of other … Continue reading

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Who Are Your Fiduciaries?

The foundation of every well-designed estate plan is the careful selection and appointment of your “fiduciaries.” A fiduciary is any person who, legally speaking, has been given a special relationship of trust and confidence by another person. In the estate … Continue reading

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Should Your Child Be Your Executor?

Most of our new clients come to their Initial Meeting with the idea that they should name one of their children as the Executor of the Estate (the “financial fiduciary”). Worse yet, some new clients ask us to set up … Continue reading

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Fiduciaries Beware! Personally Liable for Taxes!

Most of my new clients come to me with the idea that they should nominate a spouse or a child to serve as the executor/successor trustee of their estate. Except for small estates, which also have no “family politics,” or … Continue reading

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Prepare Your Legacy Statement

All of our clients, and people who’ve attended my public lectures, know that I am a great believer in ‘Legacy Planning.’ As a lawyer, I know that good Legacy Planning avoids serious (and often predictable) legal disputes, and the ugly … Continue reading

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The Medicare Tax is Coming!

The Supreme Court recently held that the Affordable Care Act (the new health care law) is constitutional. One of the more controversial provisions of the law, but which is not well known, is that a new 3.8% investment income surtax … Continue reading

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Medi-Cal, Spending-Down, and the “Half-a-Loaf” Strategy

Medi-Cal eligibility workers routinely tell Medi-Cal applicants that they must spend-down all of their savings on paying for nursing home care, until they only have $2,000 left, at which point they will finally qualify for Medi-Cal. This is Medi-Cal’s “preferred … Continue reading

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