Docstoc

s Published on Login

Document Sample
s Published on Login Powered By Docstoc
					                           GHOSTWRITTEN
                                  ARTICLES




               UPDATED MARCH 2001
(THIS DOCUMENT IS UPDATED PRIOR TO ACADEMY EVENTS. FOR THE MOST RECENT VERSION,
                       PLEASE CONTACT INTERNET SERVICES.)
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                 Ghostwritten Articles

 Estate Planning in Light of a Remarriage: Ensuring the Care of Your Children
                                                             825 Words Published on 3/06/01
The staggering amount of divorces that occur in today's society is all too well known.
Depending upon the circumstances that lead to the break-up of any marriage, one may
think that getting into another such arrangement would be out of the question. However,
this is not always the case. In fact, the Stepfamily Association of America reports that about
43% of all marriages are remarriages for at least one of the adults, and of these, about
65% involve children from a prior marriage.

 Home Sale Gain Exclusion: Do You Qualify if Your Home is in Your Revocable
    Living Trust?
                                                               728 Words Published on 3/06/01
Many real estate markets around the country have experienced a dramatic rise in home
values in recent years. If you are fortunate to be someone who has ridden the wave
upwards, you may be wondering what will happen when you decide to sell your home and
cash-in on the appreciation of its value. A first inclination may be to cringe at the thought of
the government taking its share of such gains. But do not worry, as the government offers
homeowners a valuable tax break for which many taxpayers qualify. However, do you
qualify if your home is titled in the name of your Revocable Living Trust?

 An Executor's Duty: Valuing the Estate's Assets
                                                             691 Words Published on 3/06/01
The responsibilities of an Executor (also called a Personal Representative in some states)
can be very time consuming and potentially difficult. Besides having to locate all of the
decedent's assets, the executor has the responsibility of determining the value of all of the
decedent's assets. This determination serves two valuable purposes. First, it establishes the
amount that will be taxed by the state and federal governments upon the decedent's death.
Second, it establishes the basis of the assets in the hands of the beneficiaries of the estate.

 To Reside or not to Reside: That is the Question
                                                             524 Words Published on 1/31/00
The United States is known as "The Land of Opportunity." It is a country that appeals to
people worldwide. This attraction is confirmed by recently released census statistics. The
United States Census Bureau reports that presently there are more than 28.4 million
immigrants living in the United States. Of this number, 37.4 percent have become
naturalized citizens. This leaves almost 18 million non-citizens living in the United States. If
you find yourself within these ranks, you have a very important decision to make: To Reside
or Not to Reside.

 The Federal Gift Tax: Must You Always Pay?
                                                             1076 Words Published on 1/31/00
Whether it is due to estate planning reasons or simply out of charitable inclination, the
gifting of assets is a common occurrence. But be aware that your good deed may result in a
tax bill. Federal gift taxes are levied on gratuitous transfers of assets. To be a gift, the
transfer must be of a present interest, meaning the recipient must be given immediate use
of the asset. The federal gift tax starts at 18% (although due to certain exemptions, it
effectively starts at 37%) and rises incrementally to a maximum rate of 55%. However,
there are certain "exceptions" provided by the government that exempt transfers from
being subject to this tax, somewhat minimizing the sting of the gift tax on certain transfers.

 New Rules Regarding IRAs and Qualified Retirement Plans: There's a Good
    Chance They Affect You
                                                              827 Words Published on 1/31/00
If you're like much of the adult population and you own an Individual Retirement Account
("IRA") or participate in a qualified retirement plan, take note. The Department of Treasury

                                                                                      Page 2 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

has changed the longstanding rules dealing with Minimum Required Distributions ("MRDs")
from IRAs and qualified retirement plans. MRD refers to the amount which you are required
to withdraw from your IRA or qualified plan annually once you reach your RBD (defined
below). The failure to withdraw your MRD results in a hefty 50% penalty by the IRS on the
shortfall. After almost fourteen years of inaction, the government has finally simplified the
MRD rules that have been in place since 1987! The new rules are retroactive to January 1,
2001.

 Choosing a Payout Period for Your Pension Benefits: Door Number One or Door
    Number Two?
                                                            735 Words Published on 12/29/00
For many, thoughts of retirement bring to mind relaxation and financial stability. However,
before retirement payments begin and these years can be enjoyed, certain decisions must
be made regarding how distributions will be paid. Generally, there are two options for taking
distributions from a pension plan:
1.) Take the benefit over the participant's life expectancy (single life payout), or
2.) Take the benefit over a combined life expectancy of the participant and the participant's
spouse or other named beneficiary, if permitted (joint life payout).

 The Family Limited Partnership: Is it Right for You?
                                                          1025 Words Published on 12/29/00
Whether you own a business or have read articles on estate planning, you inevitably have
heard of the Family Limited Partnership ("FLP"). This 40-year old creature has become
extremely popular within the last decade. However, an FLP is a complex estate planning tool
and should not be formed without consulting an attorney who is knowledgeable in their
proper structure, as well as the potential income, gift and estate tax consequences of bits
creation and existence.

 Tax-Deferred Annuities: Who is Taxed Upon the Annuitant's Death?
                                                         465 Words Published on 12/29/00
Many people own tax-deferred fixed annuities these days. They provide a way to defer
income taxation on the investment growth until distributions are taken. But most people
who own tax-deferred annuities are unaware of how an annuity is taxed if no distributions
are taken before the annuitant's death. This lack of knowledge can lead to unintended
results.

 Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya Hear? The Importance of Having Your Estate Plan
    Reviewed
                                                         973 Words Published on 11/30/00
To many, the charm of the South has always been their delicious home-cooked meals and
good old-fashioned southern hospitality. Southerners treat you like family and then invite
you back for more. But whether you're from the South or another part of the country,
someone else is always looking forward to seeing you again - your Estate Planning Attorney.

 Financial and Estate Planning for the Dual Income Family
                                                         1072 Words Published on 11/30/00
In today's world, it is more common than ever to find dual income households. Recent
estimates by the Department of Labor find that women comprise around 47 percent of the
American workforce. Compare this percentage to 1960 accounts estimating women in the
workplace at around 33 percent. Because of the proliferation of working women, special
planning is necessary to properly address the issues faced by households where both
spouses work.

 Encouraging Your Descendants to Become Productive Members of Society
                                                          669 Words    Published on 11/30/00

                                                                                     Page 3 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                               Ghostwritten Articles

Many adults work their whole lives, building their wealth to provide for themselves and their
families. This desire to provide often survives death, as many people desire to build an
inheritance large enough to provide for their children and grandchildren once they are gone.
However, the desire to have sufficient assets to leave to descendants brings with it a
dilemma. How do you leave assets to your children and grandchildren without marring their
sense of hard work and accomplishment? A trust with incentive provisions might be the
answer.

 After the Divorce: The Work's Not Over Yet
                                                            491 Words Published on 10/31/00
Unfortunately, it's common knowledge that divorce is on the rise in America. The statistics
are astonishing, and it must be acknowledged as a possible reality for anyone contemplating
or currently in a marriage. If it does occur, surviving the actual divorce process may seem
difficult enough, but the hard work associated with returning your life to some semblance of
normalcy doesn't end there. Divorce also affects your estate plan.

 The Many Faces of Life Insurance
                                                          751 Words      Published on 10/31/00
Life insurance is a unique asset. Because of its tax-favored benefits, it can be used to solve
some of life's perplexing financial problems. Most people regard life insurance as a
"protective" asset, and it is indeed one of the very best assets to protect against potential
losses. But life insurance is also a major planning asset to develop and implement your
financial and estate plan.

 How to Gift Assets to Your Children: "Look, But Don't Touch"
                                                           798 Words Published on 10/31/00
Contrary to popular belief, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") does provide taxpayers
with certain tax breaks. One example is the annual gift tax exclusion. Generally, the
gratuitous transfer of assets is subject to a gift tax. However, each taxpayer can annually
transfer $10,000 worth of assets, per recipient, free of gift tax ($20,000 for a married
couple). Gifting assets provides an excellent means of removing assets from a person's
taxable estate, thereby avoiding the Federal estate tax upon death, a tax that peaks at
55%.

 Why Gay and Lesbian Couples Need Estate Planning
                                                          2,055 Words Published on 10/1/00
Jack O'Drobinak referred to this article during the October 2000 gay marketing and legal
document presentation. It is based on other articles written and released by the Academy.
Equality is something everyone wants and expects. Often though, equality is not an option
for everyone. Gay and lesbian couples face discrimination at work, at school and in social
settings. Their sexuality plays a role in how they are treated every day - by employers,
family members, friends and even strangers. But it's how they are treated after one Partner
dies that may be even more unsettling.

 Calculating Your Required Minimum Distributions: Is Your Beneficiary
    Qualified?
                                                            909 Words Published on 9/30/00
People who own retirement assets, such as Traditional IRAs, are 70 ½. This is the magic
age in retirement planning, and is the time at which mandatory annual withdrawals, called
Minimum Required Distributions ("MRDs") must be determined. This first MRD must be
taken no later than April 1st of the year following the year in which you reach 70 ½ (also
known as the Required Beginning Date ("RBD")).

 Joint Tenancy: Friend or Foe?


                                                                                    Page 4 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                  Ghostwritten Articles

                                                          988 Words      Published on 9/30/00
If you're like many people who don't have an Estate Plan, you probably hold some of your
assets as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship. This is a form of ownership where two
or more people have their names on the title of an asset, and upon one owner's death; his
or her share of the asset passes to the remaining owner(s). While there are advantages to
joint ownership, there are many pitfalls to keep in mind.

 Planning After the Fact: The Benefits of Using Disclaimers
                                                          692 Words     Published on 9/30/00
People are constantly being told to plan for the future. We experience this beginning at a
very young age when our parents try to teach us to save money for a car or a trip.
Throughout adulthood we are told to plan for our retirement. The same is true with your
estate. Prudence suggests planning for your death so that your heirs experience minimal
complications in settling your affairs.

 Non-Citizen Spouses: The Rules Are Not the Same
                                                           967Words     Published on 8/31/00
When it comes to estate taxes, married couples in which one spouse is a resident non-
citizen are treated differently than married couples where both spouses are U.S. citizens.
Generally, assets that pass between spouses at the first death are free from estate taxes
due to the Unlimited Marital Deduction, no matter how large the estate. However, where the
surviving spouse is a resident non-citizen, the Unlimited Marital Deduction is not
automatically available. Although the government allows all taxpayers to pass a certain
amount of assets at death estate tax-free, called the Applicable Exclusion Amount (“AEA”),
estate taxes will be due on amounts in excess of the AEA (currently $675,000) unless
proper estate planning is in place.

 The Death of the Estate Tax Will Not Spell the Doom of Estate Planning
                                                         1159 Words      Published on 8/31/00
With all the speculation caused by the passage of HR-8, the Death Tax Elimination Act of
2000, and its recent veto by President Clinton, many have wondered whether there will be a
need for estate planning in the future. Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door,
estimates that Baby Boomers stand to inherit an aggregate $20 trillion in wealth over the
next 20 years. This will be the greatest inter-generational transfer of wealth in history.
Irrespective of whether the estate tax is repealed or not, the World War II generation will
seek ways to protect and preserve this wealth for their children and future generations to
come.

 Don't Overlook Personal Property When Creating Your Estate Plan
                                                               747 Words     Published on 8/31/00
Planning for all of life's contingencies is a difficult task, yet one which must be attempted.
This is especially true when dealing with your death. Prudence suggests that you create an
effective Estate Plan delineating your wishes as to the care of your minor children, your
burial arrangements, and the disposition of your assets, to name a few. However, even
people who meticulously prepare their Estate Plans often overlook their personal property,
which can cause problems. Here's an example of how things can go wrong: Several years
ago, a widower passed away. He thought he planned out every detail of what would happen
after he was gone. He had family discussions about how his major assets were to be
divided, but the widower never considered his personal property in his plan.

 Trustee or Executor: A Critical Decision
                                                        931 Words     Published on 7/31/00
If there was ever a doubt about the importance of choosing a trustee or an executor (also
named a personal representative in some states), a case of selecting an executor in San
Diego, California should convince everyone of the importance of making the right choice.

                                                                                       Page 5 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                               Ghostwritten Articles



 An Executor's Responsibilities
                                                        603 Words      Published on 7/31/00
If you are appointed as executor (also termed Personal Representative in some states) of
someone's Will, the person who chose you as his or her executor has a great deal of trust in
you. That person views you as someone who has the knowledge, the capability, and the
understanding to manage his or her affairs in a manner that would fulfill his or her
expectations. You should consider it an honor, but one with a great deal of responsibility.

 Common Myths about Estate Planning
                                                         667 Words     Published on 7/31/00
A great deal of confusion remains over what constitutes a proper Estate Plan. Rumors,
statements taken out of context, gossip, some bad characters that have bilked the innocent,
and even turf battles over business interests have created widely held beliefs that just
aren't correct. These stories have become myths. They can be harmful to you and your
loved ones.

 Taking Advantage of Current Market Trends Through Proper Estate Planning
                                                          667 Words      Published on 6/30/00
The latest stock market fluctuations have all the usual suspects worried. Fluctuation and
worry have been hallmarks of the stock market since its inception. The worry part is most
prevalent when stocks are going down. If it is your stock declining, the worry is immediate,
intense, and personal.

 Succession Planning: A Necessary, Yet Difficult Task
                                                           729 Words     Published on 6/30/00
Owners are proud of their family-owned businesses. To be successful, owners must plan
thoroughly and work hard to carry out the plan. Successful business owners should be
proud of their accomplishments. Yet planning and hard work are frequently lacking in efforts
to establish a viable blueprint for leaving the business behind. Reluctance to pursue proper
succession planning is common. Combining family and business concerns is difficult. If a
proper estate plan is not in place, estate taxes must be paid within nine months of death.
This does not give heirs a great deal of time to maneuver. Irreparable harm could result.
Part or all of the business may have to be sold in order to pay estate taxes.

 Estate Planning: Minimizing Taxes Is Only Part of the Equation
                                                            442 Words    Published on 6/30/00
When our national or state law-making bodies begin talking about decreasing or increasing
estate taxes, a flood of reaction pours out in anticipation. Throughout our history of
legislation, there have been few moments of anticipation worth the hoopla. Estate taxation
laws are rarely changed for the benefit of the taxed. Yet every time a change is proposed,
many people delay, or entirely ignore proper estate planning in anticipation of what never
happens.




 Insurance and Estate Taxes: Two Sides of the Coin
                                                          524 Words     Published on 5/31/00
Life Insurance can be an integral part of proper estate planning in several ways. An effective
Estate Plan maximizes the value of the estate. Transferring life insurance policies from an
estate may assist in reaching that goal. Life Insurance also can be used to pay the estate
taxes that cannot otherwise be avoided. Life insurance becomes a two-sided coin in estate
planning.


                                                                                    Page 6 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

 Interest Rate Increase: Impact on Estate Planning
                                                          595 Words     Published on 5/31/00
Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve Board hiked the interest rate one-half percent in
mid-May. The financial world is concerned that other raises may follow. The need to raise
the interest rate and the impact it will have on our economy is discussed at every level of
the economic spectrum. Your assets and your plans for retirement may be impacted.

 Medicare: Not the Complete Answer for Long Term Care
                                                         604 Words     Published on 5/31/00
Long Term Care produces the most out-of-pocket health care costs for the elderly. It can
have a devastating effect on your retirement if you are not prepared. While government
programs can help, they are not the complete solution. Long Term Care is a prospect we all
must consider.

 Life Insurance: Easing The Life Of The Terminally Ill
                                                            666 Words    Published on 5/1/00
Nearly all of us have faced the devastating experience of having someone close becoming
terminally ill. This sad and emotional experience is often exacerbated by simultaneously
having to deal with paying medical and care bills. There are some options, often overlooked
in such times of stress, which may assist in meeting your financial needs and easing the
stress during difficult times.

 Life Insurance and Charity: A Combination that May Serve You Well
                                                              536 Words     Published on 5/1/00
If you wish to leave part of your estate to charity, life insurance could be the best means to
serve your purposes. Using life insurance to make a "testamentary" gift (a gift made after
you die) is an especially attractive choice for someone with the following characteristics:
 The desire to leave a substantial charitable gift
 Limited assets
 Monthly income that allows some degree of investment on a monthly basis
 The desire for minimal risk

 After the Fact: Easing the Financial Burden After A Spouse's Death
                                                             502 Words      Published on 5/1/00
A Living Trust can be a great way to fulfill your estate planning goals, including minimizing
taxes on that estate. But sometimes, an unexpected death can occur before a Living Trust is
established. Or, sometimes after a spouse has died, it is discovered that he or she did not
properly fund a living trust.

 Probate: What Is It and Why Should You Try to Avoid It?
                                                        989 Words      Published on 3/31/00
The term probate is often thrown around as freely as the daily paper. People know the
word, but they don't know the implications. Maybe they knew someone who "went through"
probate after the loss of a family member. Generally speaking however, most don't really
know what probate is or how it works, much less how to avoid it. They only know that it is
something that happens to a person's estate after they die, and many assume it happens to
everyone. In reality, probate does not happen to every estate and can often be avoided.


 But Wait, There's More: The Importance of Trust Administration
                                                           814 Words    Published on 3/31/00
Many people probably think that once they have an estate plan in place their needs have
been met. They are ready to move on, and feel secure in the knowledge that when they die
their estate will be handled according to their wishes. To some extent this is true. Your
wishes will be carried out and you will save your family time and money, but setting up the

                                                                                     Page 7 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                 Ghostwritten Articles

plan is only the beginning of the estate planning process. It is imperative that you review
your plan regularly with your estate planning attorney. Buying or selling property, getting
divorced, significant changes in income, and many other life-changing circumstances can
impact your estate plan. In addition to regularly updating your plan while you are living,
someone must be selected to manage the plan after you die. Trust administration is a vitally
important and often misunderstood (or ignored) aspect of an estate plan that includes a
trust. Trust administration allows for the orderly settling of the decedent's legal and
financial affairs, including the disbursement of assets to the trust beneficiaries.

 Don't Get Scammed . . . Get Smart
                                                           1142 Words Published on 3/31/00
Estate planning has been in the news lately with stories on CNN and articles in Time,
Money, and Fortune. Many of these stories have focused on the use of living trusts. It's
important to remember that there are several types of trusts - some are legal, many are
not. It is also important to know what those illegitimate trusts are and why you want to
avoid them. Not only is using one of these trusts illegal, but you could end up losing your
money and paying taxes, interest, and fees in addition to any civil or criminal penalties.

 Use a Special Needs Trust to Protect Your Loved One with a Disability
                                                            1086 Words Published on 3/1/00
Nearly one in ten people in the United States copes with special needs that exist as a result
of a disability. In other words, approximately 25,000,000 people suffer from or care for
someone suffering from a wide range of disabilities including Autism, Down syndrome,
traumatic brain injury, and a variety of mental illnesses. All families should create estate
plans to protect their loved ones from the expensive and often long process of probate, but
for families dealing with special needs, it is even more important. Individuals who receive
government and other restricted benefits and services may lose those benefits if they
receive an inheritance. For this reason, proper planning is essential.

 Don’t Let Your Money Get Sucked Into the Education Expense Black Hole
                                                        1136 Words          Published on 3/1/00
Many parents feel that they have a responsibility to help their children get through college.
It's easy to see why when you consider that college graduates earn an income that's 50
percent more than those without a college degree. And, the unemployment rate for those
with college degrees is half that of those who only have a high school diploma. But, the cost
is staggering - more than $10,000 to $20,000 a year for private colleges. The cost of higher
education has risen an average of 7 percent a year for the past several years, and it has
outpaced inflation for over twenty years. Even with these exorbitant education costs, many
parents feel it is important and worthwhile to invest in their children's future in this way.
Today, paying for children's education is the second biggest expenditure behind buying a
house.

 Same-Sex Couples Face Unique Obstacles in Estate Planning
                                                         1082 Words         Published on 3/1/00
Upon death, the absence of planning inevitably results in some avoidable complications,
delays and expense. This is true regardless of one's marital situation. However, the
obstacles for same-sex couples who fail to plan are often insurmountable. If an individual
dies without a will, the law of intestacy determines the distribution of his or her assets. Each
state determines the order of distribution, but generally, the assets will go to the decedent's
legal spouse first, and then to blood relatives - no matter how distant. Even worse, in most
states the assets are distributed to the state if the decedent has no living blood relatives.
This means that a life partner will not be given the deceased partner's assets under the law
of intestacy.




                                                                                      Page 8 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                               Ghostwritten Articles

 A Power of Attorney or the Powers That Be…Make the Right Choice
                                                        653 Words        Published on 1/31/00
It’s likely that you’ve heard of the Power of Attorney (POA). Most people have. We generally
assume it’s a way for someone else to take control of our assets if we become incapacitated
or, as we often see in the movies, we are “declared incompetent.” This can be true, but
there’s a lot more to it than that. The POA is a way for you (the principal) to give some
control of your assets or your medical care to another person (the agent or attorney-in-
fact).

 Protect Your Children: Choose a Guardian
                                                      1051 Words        Published on 1/31/00
Many parents suddenly find themselves considering estate planning because they want to
ensure the care of their children. John and Anna Perry, a couple from Albuquerque, New
Mexico recently adopted a newborn baby. Even though they are in their late twenties,
they’re concerned about who would care for their son if something happened to them. As a
result, they have begun to look into estate planning and evaluate their current financial
plans. They have a retirement plan (IRAs, pensions and 401(k) benefits), life insurance and
other investments, but they recognize that those plans may not meet their new needs as
parents. So, what should parents know about guardianship and conservatorship or
“guardian of the estate?” And, how do you go about choosing the best person to care for
your children’s physical, mental and financial needs?

 You Might Not Have to Bite the Bullet: What to Do about Capital Gains Taxes
                                                     1139 Words         Published on 1/31/00
So, what are capital gains anyway? Capital gains are the profits from the sale of capital
assets such as stocks, bonds or real estate. Your wages or other regular income (i.e.
interest, dividends) are considered “ordinary” income and subject to different tax rates.

 Have It Your Way – Even After You’re Gone
                                                     1239 Words          Published on 12/29/99
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, parents are becoming ever more concerned
about leaving large inheritances to their children. As a result, they are looking for estate
planning tools that will help them to maintain some control over those inheritances even
after they're gone. You can spend your money however you choose. It's your choice
whether you want to manage it with incentives or simply control how much money is
disbursed to your heirs. Family Incentive Trusts (FIT), as they are now being called, are
becoming increasingly popular, especially for those with very large estates.

 Do You Need Long-Term Care Insurance?
                                                    1050 Words        Published on 12/29/99
Purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC) is probably one of the most complex decisions
facing aging Americans today. Most people don't know what it is, much less what to look for
when buying it. Currently, an unprotected retired couple has a 75 percent chance of
suffering a substantial long-term care loss according to the Long-Term Care Insurance
National Advisory Council.

 Get More for Your Giving with Community Foundations
                                                        809 Words      Published on 12/29/99
Americans have been increasing their charitable giving an average of 7 percent a year over
the last several years, and people are now looking for better ways to contribute to
charitable organizations. Many want to find ways to make charitable giving part of their
estate plan or create a legacy of giving for their heirs. The Community Foundation is an
effective way to integrate financial planning, estate planning and charitable giving. The
Foundation offers many advantages over outright gifts of cash or securities and it has few



                                                                                    Page 9 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

drawbacks. This makes the Community Foundation preferable to other charitable giving
options.

 Year End Income Tax Planning
                                                     750 Words        Published on 12/08/99
As 1999 draws to a close, let’s hope that we can put our Y2K fears to bed in time to enjoy
the momentous turn of the century. But before you relax, take one last look at your tax
situation and make sure you don’t miss any smart moves.

 Sometimes You Need a Professional – Here’s How to Find One
                                                       917 Words        Published on 12/01/99
Like so many things in life, when you're searching for quality legal advice you need to shop
around. Especially when you're going to ask that attorney to help you protect your estate,
and ensure that you and your family will maintain control and privacy, as well as avoid
costly probate fees and estate taxes. There are a lot of unsavory deals out there: trust and
will software that may not be right for your state or for your needs; cheap trust scams
where a non-attorney does the "work" for you. You don't buy the first car you see from the
first dealer you meet - you shop around and compare prices, interest rates and lenders.
When you buy a house you might research the market for months before you find that
perfect piece of paradise. These purchases cost considerably more, but affect your overall
quality of life and future considerably less than the choices you make about your estate
plan.

 Don’t Let Probate Get You…Twice
                                                       719 Words         Published on 12/01/99
Almost everyone dreams of someday owning a little log cabin on a river in Montana or a
beachfront condo in California or Florida. For some, a simple timeshare will do, or maybe
you want to retire to Arizona and play golf and retain your family home as a rental property.
Perhaps your family has property that has passed down from generation to generation and
you want to continue that tradition. Many people end up owning more than one piece of
property in their lifetime, and often those properties are not located in the same state. As if
estate planning weren't confusing enough, what can you do when you own an interest in
real estate in another state?

 Beware the “Path of Development” – It Might Cost Your Heirs Their Heritage
                                                        749 Words        Published on 12/01/99
If you own a family farm or other family business, there are things you need to know to
protect those assets before your death. Property in a decedent's estate is valued for estate
tax purposes by the "willing buyer-willing seller test." In the world of commerce, property
generally changes hands for a price determined by agreement between a knowledgeable
seller and a knowledgeable buyer. For purposes of this article, the buyer is not limited to
the seller's previous use of the property. The buyer may have a more profitable use for the
property than the seller, which is called the "highest and best use."

 You May Already be a Winner…Estate Planning for the Lottery Winner
                                                      519 Words        Published on 10/29/99
Some attorneys consider estate planning to be one of the most complex areas of tax law.
This concept may indeed be true-the estate planner must anticipate events that may occur
many years into the client's future. The task of preparing an estate plan that will survive the
client's future circumstances can be a daunting one. However, when the plan is first
formulated, the experienced estate planner generally begins the process with a limited
number of objectives.

 Deferred Annuities in Education Trusts
                                                      720 Words        Published on 10/29/99


                                                                                    Page 10 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                 Ghostwritten Articles

Education trusts are not a new phenomenon. They have been in place for decades to
accumulate income for use when a child or grandchild begins college. This article discusses
an emerging investment vehicle used in trusts to provide for the education of children or
grandchildren. Typically, the parents annually transfer up to $20,000 per child into the
irrevocable education trust using each parent's $10,000 annual gift tax exclusion. So far, so
good. However, because the income tax rates of trusts are "compressed," it is very difficult
to accumulate sufficient funds on an "after tax" basis.

 The Grass Looks Greener on the Other Side of the Inexpensive Estate Plan
                                                       956 Words        Published on 10/29/99
Valuation planning is a significant part of estate planning used to reduce estate or gift taxes.
Valuation planning illustrates the age-old concept that "you get what you pay for" in estate
planning, as well as in any other endeavor. The method of determining the value of the
property is extremely important because estate and gift taxes are imposed on the value
given, whether a gift or a bequest. It is equally important to use valuation planning to
reduce the taxable value.

 In Estate Planning, a Split Home is a Happy Home
                                                        587 Words       Published on 9/29/99
“Broken” homes and limited charity aren’t normally considered virtues, but in estate
planning they can serve as effective strategies for allowing your property to pass to loved
ones free of federal estate taxes.

 Playing for Time: IRS Keeps to Quick Tempo for IRA Rollover
                                                       529 Words         Published on 9/29/99
“Rollover” is a term familiar to many because of the increased use of qualified plans and
IRAs as a form of retirement savings. The term refers to the ability to remove funds from
one of these retirement savings vehicles and deposit the amount into a new IRA without the
imposition of income tax.

 For Richer or Poorer: Marital Deductions and the IRS
                                                       621 Words         Published on 9/29/99
Everyone has heard the old saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Accepting a gift
without questioning the motives of the gift-giver has a very practical application in estate
planning. It might be rephrased: “Take what Congress gave you, and don’t be too creative.”

 Family Trusts: Skipping Taxes and Generations
                                                       443 Words         Published on 8/31/99
Should your generosity be passed along to future family generations with or without a trust?
Increasingly, estate planning attorneys and their clients are considering that question.

 "Special Needs Trust" Needs Special Trustee
                                                         510 Words         Published on 8/31/99
When children face a lifetime of significant medical expense, parents often turn to a "special
needs trust." The beneficiary is usually eligible for Medicaid benefits, or soon will be. The
goal of a special needs trust is to provide a source of money to benefit a child without
jeopardizing this eligibility.

 Life Insurance vs. the IRA: A Simple Choice?
                                                     550 Words        Published on 8/31/99
Who would ever think that life insurance is comparable to-or perhaps even better than-an
IRA? Your heirs, that's who.

 New Rules for Roth IRAs May Save the Day
                                                       685 Words         Published on 7/30/99

                                                                                     Page 11 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                  Ghostwritten Articles

The IRS has just announced new rules that may save the day for people who made Roth
IRA rollovers in 1998 and, having seen the results on their 1998 income tax returns, have
big regrets.

 Living Trusts: Calculating the Benefits
                                                   1205 Words          Published on 7/30/99
Living Trusts have quickly become the most popular estate planning tool, allowing families
to avoid probate and other legal quagmires, lower taxes and protect privacy.

 Ownership and Value: The Keys to Prudent Estate Planning
                                                      1221 Words             Published on 7/30/99
Estate planning often appears to be a highly complex science, drawing upon an intricate
array of trusts, transfers, financial facts and legal fictions. Yet the best estate planning is
also practiced as an art, and the key to creating an estate masterpiece is keeping a clear
perspective on two basic concepts: the value of property, and who owns it.

 Wrigley Trusts: The Gum Is Greater Than the Parts
                                                       500 Words           Published on 6/30/99
The Wrigleys of spearmint-stick fame take their estate planning very seriously. But when
the marriage of patriarch William Wrigley lost its flavor, the carefully created pack of family
trusts faced its truest test: trust-popping divorce attorneys out to sweeten any settlement
with protected assets.

 The Best of Times: Let Prosperity Write a New Chapter in Your Estate Plan
                                                         762 Words         Published on 6/30/99
Solid estate planning is never static. Just as its name suggests, that's especially true of a
Living Trust. As your financial fortunes rise or fall, as your family adds new members or
shrinks by divorce, as you acquire or change title to new assets, your estate plan must also
adapt, like the vibrant creation it's meant to be.

 A Trusted Way to Keep Your Home in the Family
                                                       709 Words          Published on 6/30/99
For many Americans, a home is more than a symbol of security and place of memory. It's
also the most valuable asset-and that puts it solidly at the center of serious estate planning.

 The Family Limited Partnership's Missing Piece
                                                     445 Words         Published on 5/28/99
Sometimes, creating a Living Trust can make you feel like a million  or even $1,819,000.
That's the amount heirs lost in last month's Adams v. U.S. Tax Court decision, simply
because there was no Living Trust in place to reserve tax-saving benefits once the business
partnership dissolved.

 Trust but Verify: Your Irrevocable Trust’s Protector
                                                        544 Words         Published on 5/28/99
In estate planning, a “trust” is most often seen as a flexible tool  a proven strategy for
nimbly stepping around many tax and legal pitfalls. But the “Irrevocable Trust” carries a
somewhat forbidding label. As its name indicates, the Irrevocable Trust cannot be changed
once its terms are set, except in very unusual circumstances.

 Special Trust Thwarts Medicaid “Smash and Grab”
                                                     514 Words          Published on 5/28/99
It’s an increasingly common question in estate planning: what can older parents do to
ensure long-term health care costs don’t consume the family wealth? Medicaid, the
government’s health care safety net, won’t cushion your fall into poverty until you’ve


                                                                                      Page 12 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                 Ghostwritten Articles

depleted most of your assets. By then, the inheritance you planned for your loved ones
might look pretty paltry.

 Silence Isn't Golden in Estate Plans
                                                   366 Words         Published on 4/30/99
Remember that old snickering definition for "assume"? There are few areas where
assumptions do more damage  or make lawyers look more foolish  than estate planning.

 Green Light for Living Trust Tax Break
                                                     413 Words         Published on 4/30/99
Living trusts are valued by many families as a smart way to avoid the highest tax rates in
the land - "death tax" brackets ranging from 37 to 55 percent. But does that mean they
must forfeit lucrative tax breaks in the bargain?

 IRA Paradox: Buy Time to Save Taxes
                                                     450 Words         Published on 4/30/99
Can you imagine turning aside part of an inheritance? IRS indecision has made that a
prudent estate planning option for many who will inherit IRAs.

 The Income Tax Side of Estate Planning for IRAs
                                                      558 Words         Published on 3/31/99
It's hard to believe a surging stock market and white-hot GDP rates could make life more
complicated. But yes, when it comes to estate planning, there are pitfalls in this prosperity.

 Bank on Trusts for Spendtrift Children
                                                      440 Words        Published on 3/31/99
Money may not always be the root of all evil, but when it comes to inheritance many
parents worry it may be the root of waste and frivolity.

 Joint Tenancy: A Bitter Inheritance
                                                      459 Words          Published on 3/31/99
When the kids were small, your blustering threat that you'd "pull the car over right now"
was enough to quell many sibling disputes, at least those likely to arise on the road in the
old Ford Country Squire. Improper estate planning can bring back
those memories  by rekindling childish jealousies among your adult offspring.

 Estate Planning Mistakes – How Can They Be Corrected After Death?
                                                      694 Words        Published on 3/2/99
We are all familiar with the age-old expression "everyone can make a mistake." Remember,
this maxim applies to estate planning attorneys as much as to any other professional. The
question is whether or not the mistake can be corrected.

 Making Deathbed Gifts Work
                                                        550 Words          Published on 3/2/99
"It's not what you do; it's how you do it." The result of a recent Tax Court case, Estate of
Newman, illustrated that this principle always rings true, especially in the arena of estate
tax planning.

 Gifts of Interest in the Family Business - The Wrong Way
                                                         540 Words           Published on 3/2/99
One of the most important estate planning techniques is to have parents make gifts of
interests in the family business to children, or trusts for their benefit, whether it be a
corporation, partnership, or limited liability company. Gifts of interests in the family
business reduce the estate taxes on the parents' estates using the $10,000 annual gift tax
exclusion.

                                                                                     Page 13 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                  Ghostwritten Articles

 Keeping Control of Gifts to Minors
                                                      430 Words         Published on 1/29/99
Parents and grandparents can significantly reduce the amount of estate taxes ultimately
imposed on their estates simply by making lifetime gifts to children and grandchildren. The
estate tax savings can range from 37 to 55 percent of the amount of the gift. Not only do
the gifts reduce the estate of the donor, but any appreciation also escapes the donor's
Estate.

 When Joint Tenancy Trumps a Will
                                                      458 Words         Published on 1/29/99
Joint tenancy offers some short-term conveniences, but can also cause you and your family
a slew of problems in the long run. Married couples, friends, parents and children all rely
heavily on joint tenancy when they purchase a home, car, or other costly asset. Consumers
aren't always aware of the expense and headache that joint tenancy brings about. In a
recent Tennessee estate planning case, the dispute arose when joint tenancy precluded the
terms of a will.

 Using Compensation as an Estate and Medicaid Planning Tool
                                                       470 Words        Published on 1/29/99
Compensation can ensure that one's assets will be protected from estate taxes. A recent
Tax Court case, Estate of Wilson, T.C. Memo, 1998-309, illustrates how compensation paid
to care providers can prove to be a valuable tool in protecting property from estate taxes,
or from Medicaid reimbursement claims.

 Property Powers of Attorney Require Careful Attention
                                                           600 Words        Published on 12/30/98
Have you ever thought about who will
manage your property if you are injured or otherwise unable to manage it yourself? If not, it
is never too early to take the proper estate planning steps. You may hear arguments about
the benefits of a living trust versus a will or a will versus a living trust, but all estate
planners agree that a properly prepared estate plan will include a property power of
attorney. A property power of attorney is a document in which you appoint the person of
your choice to make decisions about your property when you are unable to do so.

 Alzheimer's Disease, Nursing Homes, and Long-Term Health Care
                                                      500 Words          Published on 12/30/98
A recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics will raise the spirits of every
American. According to the report, the chances of living to a ripe old age of more than 75
years have reached an all-time high due to advances in medical science, a more health-
conscious population, and a reduction in the number of deaths resulting from accidents.

 Giving Power to a Surviving Spouse
                                                      550 Words        Published on 12/30/98
Conventional estate planning requires the use of trusts to reduce, or possibly eliminate,
estate taxes imposed on a family’s inheritance at the death of the surviving spouse. In
1999, each spouse may leave $650,000, without the imposition of estate taxes. That means
that a married couple can leave a combined $1.3 million to their children free, of estate
taxes. However, without proper planning, there will be needless estate taxes imposed on
the inheritance received by the children.

 Estate Planning Issues for Professionals
                                                      720 Words        Published on 11/30/98
Estate planning for professional workers generally involves planning issues unique to
professional occupations. Whether the plan is for medical, insurance, legal or other licensed


                                                                                      Page 14 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                               Ghostwritten Articles

professionals, the estate planner needs to consider issues involving the value of the
professional's practice and the retirement funds included in the
professional’s estate.

 Flexibility Is Key in Life Insurance Trust Planning
                                                       630 Words        Published on 11/30/98
Life insurance is frequently an
indispensable part of a successful estate plan. Unlike other estate and financial planning
tools, insurance will create an estate at the decedent's death, so long as the decedent was
making the premium payments. This is particularly valuable for those in the accumulation
stage of estate planning. The accumulation stage is when one is young and working and
saving to have a nest egg for retirement, and eventually, to benefit children or other
heirs. During this period, life insurance is recommended to ensure that one’s family is
protected if an unexpected death occurs. However, without proper planning, life insurance
can cause estate planning problems of its own.

 Maximizing Gifts Can Save Estate Taxes
                                                       630 Words        Published on 11/30/98
Most taxpayers do not consider gifts to be “tax deductible” in the same manner they
consider residential interest and property taxes to be deductible for income tax purposes.
However, that perception is quite wrong. Income taxes start at 15% and top out at 39.6%
for a joint taxable income in excess of $278,000. However, estate and gift taxes are
imposed beginning at 37% and rising to 55% for taxable estates in excess of $625,000 in
1998.

 A Lawyer’s View of "Magic Trusts"
                                                         529 Words       Published on 10/30/98
A disturbing trend in estate planning these days is a proliferation of "Magic Trusts." The
names vary, but these trusts claim to reduce or eliminate your income taxes, deduct your
personal living expenses, let you sell property without the imposition of income tax, achieve
Medicaid and other asset protection and last, but not least, avoid all estate and gift taxes.
No wonder they are called “Magic Trusts.” The Internal Revenue Service has launched a
program to alert taxpayers to be wary of "trust arrangements promising benefits that are
not allowed under the tax law.” (IRS Notice 97-24) The IRS warning includes promotions
that “. . . claim to make personal living expenses deductible, to create charitable
contribution deductions for payments benefiting the taxpayer or family members.” In other
words, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 Estate Planning for the Non-Citizen Spouse
                                                        700 Words       Published on 10/30/98
Although the United States is commonly thought of as a melting pot of people from around
the world, the law has devised a special set of estate tax planning rules for bequests to
spouses who are residents but not citizens of the United States. The rules for resident, non-
citizen spouses differ from those for citizen spouses in several respects. Let’s first look at
the rules for citizen spousal planning and then compare them to the non-citizen
circumstance.

 The Myth of the Tax-Free Estate
                                                      500 Words      Published on 10/30/98
There is a common belief that the estate tax laws in 1998 allow a family to exclude
$625,000 per spouse from exposure to estate taxes when the spouses die. Adding the
$625,000 exclusions together, the law would appear to protect a couple's children from
estate taxes on a combined $1.25 million. However, in many circumstances the concept of a
tax-free estate is nothing more than a myth. Let’s examine why.


                                                                                   Page 15 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

 Estate Planning for Your Grandchildren's Education
                                                       569 Words         Published on 9/30/98
Many grandparents want to help provide funds for the education expenses of their
grandchildren. With the increased value of the stock market over the last several years,
many grandparents have more discretionary resources available to provide such support.
The question is: How do you do it? There may be delicate family issues involved. Perhaps
the grandparents' children are not financially responsible, causing the grandparents to have
a natural concern about giving money to their children for the educational expenses of the
grandchildren.



 Generation Skipping Trust Protects Grandchildren's Inheritance
                                                       508 Words           Published on 9/30/98
Many grandparents face a family dilemma. They have worked hard all their lives and
accumulated assets they would like to see help out their children and grandchildren when
they are gone. Unfortunately, due to substance abuse, a different work ethic than the
grandparents experienced or other factors, the children may not be the most reliable
financial stewards of the grandparent’s bounty. It is difficult for a grandparent to decide to
pass over their children and leave their property to their grandchildren because they fear
that a bequest to the children will be dissipated long before the grandchildren will benefit.

 Update Your Estate Plan or You May Disinherit a Loved One
                                                        597 Words        Published on 9/30/98
Most estate planning attorneys periodically remind their clients of the importance of
updating their estate plans. Unfortunately, many clients do not follow up and fail to update
their plans. Estate planning is a unique discipline. There is no more important matter to
society than the death of one of its members. The rules that determine who receives the
property of a decedent are slow to change and highly technical in their application.


 Effective Estate Planning for the Single Parent
                                                      520 Words        Published on 8/31/98
Estate planning for the single parent is somewhat more of an urgent concern than for
spouses, because if the single parent dies without an adequate plan, the children are left
with no parent to help them.

 Estate Planning for Children of a Prior Marriage
                                                      730 Words         Published on 8/31/98
According to recent reports, more than
half of all marriages in America eventually can be expected to end in divorce. Add in widows
and widowers to the numbers of divorced couples, and the potential for a second marriage
that includes children of a prior marriage increases.

 Facing Reality: The Essence of Family Business Succession Planning
                                                    519 Words          Published on 8/31/98
Many articles have been written about the importance and benefits of buy-sell
agreements, deferred compensation agreements and life insurance in family business
succession planning. While these may prove valuable in planning for the transition of a
family business from one generation to another, none will come into play until the business
owner is prepared to face reality.

 With a Charitable Remainder Trust, Charity Begins at Home



                                                                                    Page 16 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                 Ghostwritten Articles

                                                        790 Words         Published on 8/6/98
Americans are some of the most generous givers on the face of the planet. We claimed
$74.5 billion in charitable deduction in 1995, according to a recent report from the Internal
Revenue Service. Tax advantages for charitable donations provide a tangible incentive to
fund worthy causes. According to a recent study by the Washington, D.C.-based
organization Independent Sector, donations are more likely to occur when a tax break is
available to the donor. More than 80 percent of those who itemize their tax returns
contribute to charities, according to a recently released Price Waterhouse study of 1995 IRS
data.

 Basic Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples
                                                       530 Words          Published on 7/31/98
The estate planning concerns of unmarried partners are very similar to the concerns of
married partners. They are: (1) providing economic protection for the surviving partner; (2)
providing for family members at the death of the surviving partner while paying as little as
possible in estate taxes; (3) asset protection for the surviving partner, including protecting
the surviving partner from creditors and lawsuits; (4) meeting the surviving partner’s future
medical costs; and (5) protecting the property from the surviving partner’s inability or
inexperience in managing money.

 Estate Planning for the Surviving Spouse
                                                      640 Words         Published on 7/31/98
Estate planning for married couples generally focuses on maximizing the inheritance of the
surviving spouses' heirs. In 1998, federal law allows each spouse to leave property valued
at up to $625,000 without the imposition of federal estate taxes. That means spouses may
leave their children a combined $1,250,000, free of estate taxes.

 No Mistake: IRS Firm on 60-day IRA Rollover Rule
                                                           386 Words      Published on 7/31/98
A valuable benefit of an employee retirement plan is the ability to "roll over, "or deposit,
eligible distributions from a plan into an Individual Retirement Account without the
imposition of income taxes. This benefit is conferred upon Internal Revenue Code Section
401(k) cash or deferred plans, Section 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities and other "qualified"
employer-sponsored plans.

 Why Estate Planning Is a Woman’s Issue (Short Version)
                                                         750 Words         Published on 7/22/98
In a nation consumed with wealth-building, it’s easy to forget that earning money is only
half the financial security battle. Equally important is protecting our hard-won financial
security with a well-designed estate plan. For women, the importance of planning is
paramount, because most often women must cope when loved ones become disabled or die.

 Probate Is Public: Why Should You Care?
                                                       440 Words             Published on 7/1/98
A Living Trust has become the Estate Plan of Choice because it avoids the cost and
administrative delay associated with probate administration of an estate under a will.
However, another benefit of a Living Trust is that it avoids the publicity of probating a will.
Because probate administration is a governmental record of the accounting for and
distribution of a decedent’s property, the will is a public process, available for all to see.

 Don't Be Without a Voice in "Terminal Decisions"
                                                           634 Words      Published on 7/1/98
Stepping into one of the most controversial issues of our time, a California hospital is
considering a new policy that would allow doctors to deny aggressive treatment to patients
whose cases they consider hopeless.

                                                                                     Page 17 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                 Ghostwritten Articles



 Term Insurance Can Protect the Family Home and Bank Account
                                                        520 Words         Published on 7/1/98
Congratulations, you’ve finally made it. You just hit 50; your home is virtually paid for;
you’ve got some savings; your pension plan has grown with the stock market; and your
children are out of college. You are about as worry-free as you can be. Then it happens…

 Powerball Lottery Winner's First Purchase Will Be a Living Trust
                                                     400 Words         Published on 5/29/98
When 67-year-old retired electrician Frank Capaci won $104 million in the multi-state
Powerball Lottery recently, visions of dream vacations, luxury automobiles, and Harley
Davidson motorcycles danced before him and his wife Shirley. And that's understandable.

 Basics of Estate Planning for the Terminally Ill
                                                        545 Words         Published on 5/29/98
One of life’s most tragic circumstances is discovering a parent has a terminal illness. Despite
the devastating emotional impact of such news, there are estate planning strategies the
family’s attorney can utilize to benefit those who will survive the parent.

 If the IRS Objects to Attorney’s Probate Fees, Why Shouldn’t You?
                                                   487 Words            Published on 5/29/98
How would you react if you were advised by your estate planning attorney that your will
would be probated at $660 per hour? If that rate sounds a little steep, take heart: the
Internal Revenue Service had the same reaction as you.

 Be Careful What You Leave to Mom and Dad
                                                        431 Words           Published on 5/29/98
Most children want their parents’ golden years to be rewarding and free from financial
worries. In fact, in the event that the child dies before the parent, it is not unusual for
children to leave bequests to their parents. This is particularly true of children who do not
have families of their own, but married children also will often leave a bequest to a
surviving parent. Executed properly, leaving a bequest to a surviving parent can be a wise
estate planning strategy.

 Sinatra's Way: A Living Trust To Avoid Probate And Provide Privacy
                                                      550 Words          Published on 5/20/98
The world recently lost one of its greatest entertainers in Frank Sinatra. As is often the case
with those in necessarily public positions, Sinatra was a very private person. His desire for
privacy, combined with the desire for complete control of the disposition of his estate, and
the understandable desire to avoid probate, led Sinatra and his estate planning attorney to
choose a Living Trust as his estate plan of choice.


 You Don’t Have To Be a Kennedy To Take Advantage of Private Foundation Tax
    Benefits
                                                      626 Words           Published on 4/30/98
If you thought the tax advantages of setting up a private foundation were only for the
benefit of the super-wealthy Rockefellers or Kennedys, think again. In fact, many families
with estates of $3 million or less are taking advantage of the significant estate tax
advantages of establishing their own private foundations. While the creation and operation
of a private foundation requires specialized management, a private foundation can be
a relatively simple and powerful estate planning technique.

 IRS Approves Living Trusts as Beneficiaries of IRAs and Other Retirement Plans


                                                                                     Page 18 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                 Ghostwritten Articles

                                                       446 Words         Published on 4/30/98
Recognizing the growing popularity of living trusts as the estate planning method of choice,
the Internal Revenue Service has released proposed regulations approving living trusts as
beneficiaries of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and qualified retirement plans
(401(k), 403(b)¸ etc.). In the past, only certain irrevocable trusts were granted status as
beneficiaries and they continue to qualify.

 “Alaska Trust” Offers Blanket of Asset Protection Against Lawsuits and Estate
    Taxes
                                                     610 Words           Published on 4/30/98
Fear of lawsuits has a growing number of Americans seeking asset protection planning.
Simply put, asset protection planning seeks to place a taxpayer’s assets beyond the reach of
creditors. As the legal maxim says, “If you don’t own it, they can’t take it from you.”

 Joint Tenancy, a Will or a Trust? What’s the Best Way to Plan Your Estate?
                                                     600 Words         Published on 3/30/98
Only the woefully uninformed believe that Intestate Probate, also known as the
government’s estate plan for you if you don’t have your own, is preferable to creating your
own estate plan.


 If You Don’t Plan Your Estate, the Government Will
                                                       530 Words         Published on 3/30/98
Did you know that you have an estate plan even if you’ve never made a will or trust? It’s
true. The government has prepared a stand-by estate plan for everyone who has failed to
plan his or her estate. The government’s estate plan is variously called Intestacy, Intestate
Succession or Descent and Distribution Rules.

 Understanding the Fundamentals of Asset Protection
                                                         545 Words          Published on 3/30/98
Do you ever worry about becoming the victim of a groundless lawsuit? If so, you’re not
alone. Lately, society has seen a plague of lawsuits by predatory plaintiffs misusing the
courts by filing suits as a kind of legal extortion. As a result, these predators have sent an
increasing number of people to attorneys seeking asset protection planning.

 “Sandwich Generation” Needs Education in Effective Estate Planning
                                                       720 Words          Published on 3/9/98
As rock stars, celebrities and many of the rest of us reach the age of 50, much has
been made of the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, and the implications for our society
as a whole. Today, the 75 million Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 represent
one-third of the U.S. population. As this generation continues to “mature” in the next 13 to
34 years, the nation will experience what the U.S Administration on Aging is calling an
“unparalleled increase” in the ranks of seniors. Just between 1980 and 1995, the
65 and older group grew by 28 percent to a record high of 33.5 million. Today, one in eight
Americans is 65 years of age or older.

 The High Costs of Probate
                                                        600 Words          Published on 3/30/98
How many times have you heard the expression “The road to Hell is paved with good
intentions?” Unfortunately, it’s often true and nowhere more so than in effective estate
planning. Many with the best of intentions mistakenly believe their estate planning
worries are over if they’ve created a Last Will. In fact, having a will as your only
estate planning vehicle may expose your estate to the corrosive effect of a legal
process called “probate.”


                                                                                     Page 19 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

 President’s Estate Tax Proposals Require Prompt Response
                                                      730 Words         Published on 3/9/98
It hasn’t received the media coverage
accorded to Iraq or the White House intern scandals. But President Clinton’s proposed
overhaul of several key estate planning techniques may affect your pocketbook and your
ability to preserve and pass on your assets to heirs.

 What is Probate and Why Should You Care?
                                                      605 Words          Published on 2/1/98
Probate is one of those terms we generally don't become familiar with until the death of a
loved one or until we consult an estate planning attorney. But probate can be an expensive,
lengthy and painful process that can eat away in fees and costs assets that took a lifetime
to accumulate.

 Beware of Door-to-Door Scams
                                                       570 Words        Published on 2/1/98
In recent weeks, a highly trained network of door-to-door scam artists has been selling
estate planning documents to residents in Texas, California and Hawaii. Consumers should
seek estate planning assistance only from a qualified attorney whose practice is focused on
estate planning.

 America Grows Up
                                                      780 Words          Published on 2/1/98
Today, one in eight Americans is age 65 or over, Today, one in eight Americans is age 65 or
over, but by 2025, one in five of us will be 65 or over. This means longer working lives and
more changes in tax burdens, benefits and financial planning, including estate planning.
This means longer working lives and more changes in tax burdens, benefits and financial
planning, including estate planning.

 The Crippling Effects of Disability
                                                      716 Words        Published on 12/31/97
One out of three people aged 35 or younger will be disabled for six months or more before
reaching age 65. It could happen to you. Disability not only affects your health but also your
wealth. It will affect your current income but may also impact your retirement and the size
of your estate. A health care power of attorney and a revocable living trust can help you
maintain control.

 Selecting a Trustee You Can Trust
                                                        766 Words      Published on 12/31/97
When it comes to handling money for yourself or your loved ones, you need to find
someone you can trust. This article explains the duties of a trustee and outlines the
differences between individual trustees and corporate trustees. Sooner or later everyone is
in this difficult position of having to name a trustee.

 Gifting Makes Taxes a Minor Issue
                                                       577 Words        Published on 12/31/97
Gifting is a great way to help others and reduce the value of your taxable estate. Gifting to
your minor children is especially effective if you have appreciated assets that you would like
to sell. Thanks to the new tax law, many children will only pay 10 percent capital gains tax.
Their parents are likely faced with a 20 percent tax rate.

 Seminars Give Life to Information
                                                        647 Words          Published on 12/2/97
Here's an article designed to give credibility to your seminars. It offers some guidelines for
good public seminars and highlights the educational value of gathering information in this

                                                                                    Page 20 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

manner. The consumer gets a free education, an in-depth opportunity to evaluate the
presenter's capabilities and typically a free consultation. This helps people see the
advantages of attending a seminar-hopefully yours.

 Special Children Require Special Estate Plans
                                                      975 Words          Published on 12/2/97
Raising and caring for children is a lifetime
commitment. Parents of a child with special needs (disabled, mentally retarded) have a
much bigger responsibility both during their lives and after they're gone. They need to plan
their estates properly to ensure their child remains well-cared for and is still eligible for
government and private aid. This article addresses these important
issues.

 Same Sex, Different Rights
                                                       800 Words          Published on 12/2/97
This article should be of interest to many newspapers and their readers. Same sex couples
do not receive the same benefits that married heterosexual couples automatically receive. It
is therefore critically important for them to use the estate planning tools available today to
specify their wishes regarding health care decisions and the distribution of their assets.

 When Time is Running Out
                                                         768 Words      Published on 10/30/97
It's important for individuals to initiate estate planning measures throughout their lives. But
there are some extra measures that people can use to focus their estate plans if they know
death is imminent. This article focuses on what should be reviewed and considered when a
family member is of failing health.

 Giving Life to Your Estate Plan
                                                       536 Words          Published on 10/30/97
Life insurance can be an invaluable tool when it comes to developing an effective estate
plan. There are advantages when it comes to paying estate taxes, creating an estate for
young families, and making gifts to charity. But all the benefits of life insurance aren't
automatically received. So this article includes a couple of mistakes to avoid when using life
insurance.

 When Business and Family Meet
                                                        882 Words        Published on 10/30/97
Small-business owners have some unique challenges when it comes to estate planning. If
they want to keep the business in the family, it will take some advanced planning. This may
include the use of life insurance and trusts. This article addresses the major issues and
offers some possible strategies that can help business owners make key decisions when it
comes to their estate plans.

 The American Way or the Highway
                                                     534 Words          Published on 9/29/97
Many wealthy Americans are choosing not to leave their wealth to their children. They want
their children to earn their money the old-fashioned way, by earning it themselves. This is
an interesting strategy being employed by more and more people and shows a different side
of estate planning.

 New Tax Relief Adds Up for Homeowners
                                                        818 Words      Published on 9/29/97
This article talks about the new benefits for first-time homeowners and existing
homeowners. The increase in the capital gains tax exclusion from $125,000 to $500,000 for
married couples will result in a tremendous savings for many homeowners. Other

                                                                                    Page 21 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

restrictions have also been eliminated. This is a popular topic that has not received enough
press.

 Understanding the New IRAs
                                                     1156 Words          Published on 9/29/97
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 has initiated some very favorable changes to the traditional
IRA. There is now a new Roth IRA as well as an Education IRA. This article has a broad
appeal and clearly explains all the new additions and revisions to IRAs.

 Estate Planning News You Can Use
                                                       640 Words          Published on 8/18/97
This concise, 600-word article focuses just on the estate tax implications of the Taxpayer
Relief Act of 1997. Use it to explain the phase-in of the increase in estate tax exemption.

 Making Sense of the New Tax Law
                                                     1240 Words        Published on 8/18/97
This 1,200-word article explains the broad impact of the Taxpayer Relief Act. It highlights
the changes to estate taxes and capital gains taxes and provides new information on IRAs
and tax breaks for homeowners.



 Put Your Trust in the Law
                                                      1300 Words       Published on 7/31/97
Non-lawyers are constantly marketing estate planning and living trusts. Estate planning
attorneys need to be careful about working with these non-lawyers. This article highlights
the opinion of the State Bar of California and can be used to emphasize the need for the
advice of a licensed estate planning before proceeding with any estate documents.

 Use with Care: The Tax Savings of NIMCRUTs
                                                         1090 Words        Published on 7/31/97
Charitable giving strategies fit right in with an effective estate plan. When used properly,
net income make up charitable remainder unitrusts (NIMCRUTs) can offer tax savings and
future income. This article warns against improper deferred income
strategies but states that NIMCRUTs can still be used effectively.

 Take Credit for All You're Worth
                                                      920 Words           Published on 7/31/97
Many married couples rely on the unlimited marital deduction as an estate planning tool.
But they may be missing out on some tremendous tax advantages if they're not careful.
This article makes a powerful case for using credit sheltered trusts to take advantage of the
unified credit for both spouses.

 As Estate Tax Revenues Continue to Grow, Planning is Imperative
                                                      870 Words            Published on 5/2/97
Estate taxes affected only just 1 percent of the taxpayers who died in 1995. But according
to the chief of staff at Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation, estate taxes are going to
impact even more taxpayers in the years ahead. Already growing at double digit rates, the
government projects that estate taxes will add $35.3 billion to its coffers in the year 2007,
affecting about 73,000 estates, or more than twice that in 1995. As this article makes clear,
it's never been more important for consumers to look for ways to cut taxes.

 How to Make Sure Your Business Survives Without You



                                                                                    Page 22 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

                                                     1290 Words          Published on 4/30/97
The family-owned business may be the fuel that drives the American economy, but few
survive the death of their founder. One reason is that only a handful of entrepreneurs
implement any business succession plan at all, and of those who do, many fail to implement
the most successful strategy for their businesses and their loved ones. This article discusses
the role that GRATs and GRUTs can play in helping ensure an effective transition of
the family-owned business from one generation to the next.

 How To Keep Your Retirement Fund from Being Taxed to Death
                                                       1260 Words         Published on 4/30/97
For growing ranks of Americans, their retirement fund is one of the largest assets in their
estates. But even as the government encourages us to save for our leisure years, it also
exacts costly taxes and penalties if we build such a formidable nest egg that our retirement
fund outlives us. How taxpayers can use the CRT, a multi-generational IRA, and the
revocable living trust to gain some measure of tax relief is the topic of this article.

 Financing Long-Term Care
                                                      1254 Words        Published on 12/19/96
According to some notable experts, long-term care is something that roughly half of us will
require at some point in our lives. But with an annual average cost of $40,000, it is an
expense that can and does bankrupt many of the individuals who need it. What options are
available to help us pay for long-term care? This article explores the sources available, from
spending our own money to government assistance to long-term care insurance.



 When the Time Comes to Parent our Parents
                                                        1409 Words        Published on 12/19/96
It's one of the most painful rights of passage: that day when our parents become so ill or
infirm that we must now parent them. This article explores not only the warning signs that
will help readers spot a parent in trouble, but also touches on practical, simple and
reassuring strategies that will help ease this transition for most families.

 Taxing Matters: 1996 in Review
                                                     880 Words          Published on 12/19/96
As 1996 comes to a close, many observers have noted the unprecedented number of new
tax laws about to go into effect. From the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights to new tax incentives for
long-term care insurance, it's been a good year for the American taxpayer. This article
touches on the highlights of some of the most noteworthy new tax laws.

 A Planning Resolution for the New Year
                                                      1114 Words        Published on 12/18/96
An estate plan isn't a document etched in stone. It should be a living, breathing tool
that stays in step with our changing lives and the needs of our families. The warning signs
that may indicate that an estate plan needs updating are reviewed in this article that is
timely for the new year.

 Estate Planning and Marriage the Second Time Around
                                                      980 Words       Published on 10/31/96
Today in 30 percent of the more than 2.3 million marriage ceremonies performed each year,
at least one of the partners has been there before. And in many of these remarriages, there
are children from a previous marriage. This trend can make proper estate planning even
more critical, and helps explain why the QTIP Trust is growing in popularity, as this article
reveals.


                                                                                    Page 23 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                               Ghostwritten Articles

 Financing a College Education Becomes a Learning Experience
                                                        975 Words       Published on 10/31/96
A higher education never had a higher price tag. Today a year of college tuition
at a public school averages $8,562. In the year 2012, it will cost $81,000. But even
as the tuition bills go ever higher, the need for a college degree becomes more crucial for
success in the future. This article explains how parents and grandparents can use gifting
strategies, such as the Custodial Account, to finance that costly, but priceless, higher
education for a child.

 New Medicaid Legislation Imposes Harsh Penalties on Abusers
                                                         853 Words       Published on 10/31/96
Everyone knows the horror stories about the high cost of long-term care. That's why
Medicaid is such a reassuring safety net for so many. The trouble is many applicants will do
just about anything to become eligible, including breaking the rules. In the past, Medicaid
often covered the abusers anyway. But no more. Recent legislation makes it a criminal
offense to knowingly and willfully apply for coverage when the applicant knows that he or
she is ineligible. This article alerts consumers to the changing climate in Medicaid
enforcement.

 Passing on Your Legacy with Generation Skipping Strategies
                                                     1025 Words       Published on 10/31/96
Passing on wealth the old-fashioned way  from one generation to the next  is a sure way
to see that your wealth is taxed over and over again. On the other hand, properly
implemented generation skipping strategies can in the right circumstances help reduce the
bite of estate taxes. Who should consider generation skipping strategies and how they work
are explored in this article.



 Home Free with Qualified Personal Residence Trust
                                                      2150 Words        Published on 8/14/96
Home owners can give their homes away, capture tax advantages, and continue to live in
their homes for as long as they want, all thanks to the Qualified Personal Residence Trust.
How this estate planning strategy works and who should consider it is discussed in this
article.

 Foreign Spouses and the QDOT
                                                       1240 Words         Published on 8/14/96
Today the international scope of business, education and travel brings more and more
foreign nationals to American soil, where they take up residency, marry and raise families.
Although foreign nationals enjoy many of the same benefits as citizens, there are distinct
differences. One is the inability to use the Unlimited Marital Deduction to reduce estate
taxes. How to use a QDOT to protect the financial well-being of a resident foreign national is
the focus of this article.

 Divorce, Taxes and Your Estate Plan
                                                       1885 Words       Published on 8/14/96
Over a million Americans will untie the knot this year, about half as many as those who say
I do. While most in the throes of divorce are too caught up with the business at hand to
think of the long-term estate-tax consequences, this article shows why they should keep
their estate plans in mind as they negotiate their settlements. Otherwise, the newly
divorced may well find the experience even more taxing than it needs to be.

 Gifting: It's More than the Thought that Counts


                                                                                   Page 24 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                  Ghostwritten Articles

                                                         1775 Words         Published on 8/14/96
Those Americans who know the high cost of estate taxes often fall back on the simplest tax
savings strategy: giving their wealth away before they die. Unfortunately, for gifting to be
successful, it's more than the thought that counts. This article explores the do's and don'ts
of effective gifting, as well as a review of our favorite gifting techniques.

 Estate Planning Alert: Buyer Beware
                                                      1275 Words           Published on 7/9/96
Even as the message about the importance of estate planning is turning more
procrastinators into converts, the choice of who provides these critical services becomes
more confusing. That's why a growing number of consumers are turning to non-lawyers to
assist them with their estate planning needs. This article reviews the problems inherent in
working with non-lawyers and stresses the importance of obtaining qualified legal support.

 How and Why to Choose an Executor
                                                        2050 Words         Published on 7/9/96
Even though Academy members stress the benefits of living trusts, many consumers still
turn to wills as an estate planning option. This article provides an important public service
by explaining the issues involved in both choosing and serving as an Executor.

 Don't Bet the Farm: Estate Planning Options for Farmers
                                                       2430 Words         Published on 7/9/96
Farm life can be daunting and the economic rewards few. Especially disheartening is how
difficult it has become to keep the family farm just that  in the family. This article
explores the challenge of passing the farm down from one generation to the next, and
reviews important strategies  such as the Family Limited Partnership  that every farmer
should consider.



 Retiring Your Financial Worries
                                                       1875 Words         Published on 7/9/96
Today 80 million Americans are covered by some sort of retirement plan. While those
retirement funds will prove critical in seeing us through our retirement years, without proper
planning, these same assets can pose a costly estate planning challenge. This article
explains why retirement plan assets should be coordinated with a consumer's overall estate
plan, and touches on successful approaches for doing just that.

 When Do-It-Yourself Estate Planners Have Fools for Clients
                                                        2000 Words            Published on 4/3/96
As a growing number of Americans use software or do-it-yourself kits to do their own estate
planning, many are finding that the end results are far from what they'd hoped. With
several real-life case studies of do-it-yourself disasters, this article addresses the problems
that consumers face when they try to avoid legal counsel for this most important task.

 Peace of Mind: Planning for All Life's Contingencies
                                                           1900 Words         Published on 4/3/96
The most basic approach to estate planning should also include pre-need funeral planning.
The advantages of making advanced preparations and the peace of mind it conveys are
clearly illustrated. Also included in this article is a review of other fundamental estate
planning objectives every consumer should consider.

 Why Estate Planning Is a Woman's Issue



                                                                                      Page 25 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                Ghostwritten Articles

                                                       1600 Words        Published on 4/3/96
Although estate planning is important to every American, the fact remains that women have
an even greater stake in their families' wisely implemented estate plan. That's because
women on average still outlive their mates, and often by several years. Why women should
take an active role in assuring that this important task is completed  and the
consequences they face when it is not  are clearly portrayed in this well-researched
article.

 Death in the Family: Managing it Remains Women's Work
                                                      1400 Words           Published on 2/1/96
When it comes to gender roles in our society, some things have changed. But one remains
the same: women still do the lion's share of caregiving in their families. And that includes
assuming the responsibility for managing a loved one's final affairs. This article discusses a
Penn State study that shows the impact of a dying loved one's final illness and the
aftermath on surviving female relatives, and demonstrates the need for effective estate
planning to ease the burden on women.

 Why Baby Boomers Should Worry about their Parents' Estate Plans
                                                      1040 Words           Published on 2/1/96
The Me-First generation will start turning 50 in 1996, within striking distance of retirement.
Because they are financially strapped, few are putting away the funds necessary for an
adequate retirement. Instead, they are counting on healthy legacy from their parents to fill
the gaps in their retirement plans. That's why Baby Boomers have a vested interest in their
parents' wisely-executed estate plans. This article shows Boomers and their parents what's
at stake if they don't plan appropriately.

 Ending Well: Living Wills and Other Strategies for Controlling Your Own Destiny
                                                       1470 Words           Published on 2/1/96
A recent American Medical Association study reveals that American consumers aren't getting
the control they think they've achieved with the Living Will. In fact, the AMA's study found
that doctors often ignore patients' Living Wills and provide invasive medical procedures,
even when they know this treatment is contrary to patients' wishes. The solution may well
be the Health Care Power of Attorney. Timely, topical and of great interest to readers.

 Estate Planning Tips for Divorced or Remarried Parents
                                                       1700 Words         Published on 2/1/96
In this era of divorce, remarriage and blended families, estate planning takes on special
implications. This timely article presents estate planning guidelines parents need to know to
protect their children and a new spouse.

 Keeping It All in the Family with the Family Limited Partnership
                                                        1375 Words       Published on 11/15/95
The Family Limited Partnership is a well-rounded estate planning strategy that helps
families pass wealth from one generation to another in a highly advantageous way that
gains tax breaks without sacrificing control. This article explains how.

 What Same-Sex Couples Need: Estate Planning
                                                      1050 Words        Published on 11/15/95
This article addresses the estate planning need of an often affluent, and frequently
neglected, market segment. Gay couples need to implement estate planning strategies to
achieve what married couples take for granted as an operation of law. This article explores
both the problems and the solutions that same-sex couples face.

 Protecting Your Assets with the Family Limited Partnership


                                                                                    Page 26 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                                   Ghostwritten Articles

                                                         1100 Words       Published on 11/15/95
In today's litigious society, families need creative strategies for protecting their wealth from
predators. This article explains the actions that put people at risk of lawsuits and shows how
the Family Limited Partnership can help them protect their wealth.

 No Justice in Burger's Estate Plan
                                                       1250 Words      Published on 11/15/95
This topical story begins with a brief mention of Chief Justice Warren Burger and his one-
page Will, and moves to a discussion of the consequences we all face if we fail to do our
estate planning.

 Getting the Most out of Your Life Insurance: The Irrevocable Life Insurance
    Trust
                                                         2012 Words           Published on 8/31/95
How the ILIT helps consumers get greatest benefit and control out of their life insurance
policy with this estate planning versatile tool is the focus of this article.

 Charity Begins at Home: How to Do Well for Yourself by Doing Good for Others
    (Short Version)
                                                        1028 Words    Published on 8/7/95
The tax advantages and other benefits of Charitable Remainder Trusts are thoroughly
discussed in this article. A longer version is available as well.

 Charity Begins at Home: How to Do Well for Yourself by Doing Good for Others
                                                         1774 Words   Published on 8/7/95
The tax advantages and other benefits of Charitable Remainder Trusts are thoroughly
discussed in this article. A shorter version is available as well.

 A Special Child Needs Special Planning
                                                    1250 Words         Published on 6/19/95
Thanks to Ron Bradley who suggested the subject of this relevant article that discusses the
unique estate planning needs confronting parents of disabled children.

 What Every Consumer Should Know About Probate
                                                       1295 Words       Published on 6/19/95
Just what is probate? It's a legal process used to dispose of your property when you die. If
you own property in your own name, then probate will be required whether you die with a
will or without one. Probate is also used to determine your fate and manage your affairs if
you should become incapacitated and unable to do so for yourself.

 The Power of Attorney: When and How to Use It
                                                      1400 Words        Published on 6/19/95
The Power of Attorney has an important role to play in many consumers' estate plans. But
there's a time and place to use it, and there are times when other options are better.

 How to Avoid the Nightmare of Living Probate
                                                      1475 Words        Published on 6/19/95
For clients who need yet more proof that the Living Trust is the estate planning tool of
choice, here's an exploration of the trauma that living probate wreaks on those who must
endure it. It runs approximately 1,475 words, but can easily cut to a shorter length if
necessary.

 What Every Senior Should Know About Probate
                                                        1521 Words         Published on 6/19/95


                                                                                       Page 27 of 28
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys                              Ghostwritten Articles

Why Seniors have even better reasons than most to avoid Probate is the subject of this
article.

 Where There's a Will, There's Probate
                                                     1307 Words        Published on 6/17/95
This article contrasts the estate planning advantages of the Revocable Living Trust over the
will.




                                                                                  Page 28 of 28

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:6
posted:11/2/2012
language:Unknown
pages:28