Wealth Counselor

Helping Clients with Anticipated Inheritances

Posted by Robert L. Arone When we think of estate planning, we often think about preparing our clients’ accounts and property to go to their loved ones in a tax-efficient way, protected from probate, disgruntled heirs, beneficiaries’ creditors, divorcing spouses, bankruptcy, and the poor spending habits of beneficiaries. We rarely consider helping our clients prepare for receiving an inheritance. Believe it or not, there are several essential things a client must consider if they anticipate receiving an inheritance. Helping them understand these issues brings value to your professional relationship, ensuring that they return for your advice and counsel for years to come. Understanding the Nature of the Property to Be Inherited The first way to help a client properly prepare to receive an inheritance is to discover what exactly they will be inheriting. Is it real estate, a 401(k), or an individual retirement account (IRA)? Perhaps it is publicly traded

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Helping Clients Responsibly Leave Wealth to Grandchildren

Posted by Robert L. Arone Estate planning attorneys frequently hear from their clients, “I’d like to leave something to my grandchildren. What’s the best way to do that?” Naturally, grandparents love their grandchildren and want them to succeed in life. And when grandparents are in the twilight of their lives, their hearts often turn to the younger generation with a desire to give them whatever advantages they can, especially if they were unable to give their own children those same advantages when their children were younger. For most grandparents, the best way to provide for their grandchildren is to leave their accounts and property to the grandchildren’s parents to ensure the financial stability of that family unit, thereby indirectly benefiting the grandchildren. In fact, default inheritance laws in nearly every state reflect this common desire to provide first for children and then for the grandchildren in the event that an

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President Biden’s First One Hundred Days: Looking Back and Planning Ahead

Posted by Robert L. Arone This year has been unprecedented from a political perspective in many ways. President Joe Biden stepped into office facing huge obstacles related to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy battered by the pandemic, a crumbling national infrastructure in dire need of repair, an ongoing immigration crisis at our southern border, and deep political and social divisions in this country, among other challenges. As Biden entered office, he named the following issues as his top priorities: Getting past the COVID-19 pandemic through masking, vaccinations, and opening schools Addressing climate change and alternative energy solutions Financial regulation and student debt Anticompetition practices among the leading companies in Big Tech Revitalizing the economy and employment to recover from the pandemic Improving international relations Immigration Race, gender, and social issues With these issues at the top of Biden’s priority list, it may appear that no real changes are coming down

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Powers of Appointment: A Handy Tool in Your Client’s Toolbox

Posted by Robert L. Arone An often misunderstood but prevalent estate planning tool that often appears in estate planning documents is the power of appointment. Not to be confused with a power of attorney (the document that allows a living person to delegate certain powers to an agent to act on their behalf), a power of appointment can be an incredibly useful tool if used properly and knowledgeably. A well-considered power of appointment allows a client to maintain significant flexibility in their estate plan now and in the future, even when that estate plan is otherwise considered irrevocable under the law. Though hundreds of pages of books, scholarly articles, court decisions, and tax regulations have been written on the topic of powers of appointment, this newsletter can help you counsel your clients intelligently and confidently on the topic. It can also help you recognize and identify the existence of powers

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Trust Protectors: Are They a Good Fit for Your Client?

Posted by Robert L. Arone What Is a Trust Protector? Traditionally, the three roles that must be filled when setting up a trust are the settlor (also called a grantor, trustor, or trustmaker), the trustee, and the beneficiary. All three roles are necessary to create a trust that functions properly. Although it is relatively common to use trust protectors in foreign asset protection trusts, a trust protector is a fairly new role in trusts drafted in the United States for estate planning purposes. However, as the number of trusts designed to last for generations grows, estate plans need more built-in flexibility. Giving a trust protector, through the terms of the trust, certain powers over the trust, such as removing or appointing trustees, adding or removing beneficiaries, and amending or even terminating the trust, ensures that your client’s intentions for creating the trust are fulfilled despite changing law or circumstances. How

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