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April 1, 2015 / Newsletters

Insight on Estate Planning, April/May 2015

Weinstock Manion is pleased to present the April/May 2015 issue of Insight on Estate Planning, our bi-monthly newsletter. We encourage you to read it for ways to implement your estate plan more effectively, including ways to minimize taxes on your estate so as to maximize its value for your loved ones. We realize that we cannot fully address these complex issues in a few short articles, so we invite you to contact us to discuss your specific needs.

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In this issue:

Estate planning for personal property – Why you should sweat the small stuff
When planning their estates, most people focus on major assets, such as business interests, real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it’s also important to “sweat the small stuff” — tangible personal property. This article discusses strategies on how to best distribute tangible personal property.

How flexible is your estate plan?
It’s crucial to review and update an estate plan in light of significant life changes or new tax laws. It’s equally important to create estate plan flexibility so that an estate’s executor can make postmortem revisions. This article details portmortem estate planning strategies, such as using qualified disclaimers, spousal right of election and QTIP trusts.

Avoid state income taxes with an incomplete nongrantor trust
Now that the federal gift and estate tax exemption has reached an inflation-adjusted $5.43 million, many people are shifting their estate planning focus to income tax reduction. One potentially attractive strategy for high-income taxpayers, particularly those who live in high-income-tax states, is an incomplete nongrantor trust. This article details the pros and cons of an incomplete nongrantor trust.

Estate Planning Pitfall – You haven’t named backup beneficiaries
To ensure that a person’s wealth is distributed according to his or her wishes, it’s important to designate both primary and secondary (or “contingent”) beneficiaries for a will, trusts, retirement plans and life insurance policies. This article illustrates, through a court case, what can happen when a person fails to name a backup beneficiary. Herring v. Campbell, No. 11-40953 (5th Cir. 2012)

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