Estate Planning

Saving Estate Taxes with an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

By Robert S. Jacobson, Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond, Ltd. (KRD)

Few people realize that, even though they may have a modest estate, their families may owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes because they own a life insurance policy with a death benefit that could exceed the current estate tax exemption of 5.43 million dollars. This is because life insurance proceeds, while not subject to federal income tax, are considered part of your taxable estate and are subject to federal estate tax.

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Estate Planning

Italy: An urgent call for estate planning

By Prof Stefano Loconte and Michele Cecchi, Loconte & Partners

A draft bill has been recently introduced to the Italian Parliament which aims to amend the currently levied gift tax and inheritance tax. Although the hearings on the proposed bill have not started yet, it is true that there has been a lot of talk regarding this issue lately, and it is highly foreseeable that in the very near future, a radical change will be applied to the legislation to such an extent that will be considerably detrimental to taxpayers (possibly by means of a sudden intervention by the Government instead of a long discussed reform by Parliament).

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Estate Planning

College Supplies in Check: What about Critical Documents?

By Emily Kirtley Hanna, Dressman Benzinger LaVelle psc

When preparing to send a child over the age of 18 off to college or into the workforce, parents often overlook the need to ensure certain estate planning documents are in place. If the young adult were to get ill while at school or get injured on the job, parents are no longer provided with legal authority, as a natural guardian, and may not have the ability to speak with medical professionals or make decisions on their behalf, without the proper authorisations in place.

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Estate Planning

The New UK Succession Rules – A Brief Overview

By David J Kidd, Citroen Wells

When a person dies “intestate”, that is without leaving a valid will disposing of the whole of his property, the distribution of his estate is governed in the UK by special legal rules. These intestacy rules typically prescribe that the estate passes to certain surviving family members or relatives in prescribed proportions and a prescribed manner, whether absolutely or in trust. The rules take effect automatically without the intervention of a Court application.

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Estate Planning

Advanced Planning Will Minimize or Eliminate Estate Taxes

By Allen Kutchins, Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond LTD

Advanced estate planning during one’s lifetime will minimize or eliminate estate taxes. It is a continual process and is most effective when a plan is in place and it works over a period of time. Following are some of KRD’s favorite planning techniques; however, there are many more available. Implementing these can assure that high networth clients will minimize or pay no federal estate taxes.

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Estate Planning

Taxation of trusts and estates in Mexico

By Sergio Guerrero Rosas, Guerrero Santana

There have been various changes to tax planning and the use of offshore entities over the last few years in Mexico following a wave of new rules and regulations. Nonetheless, there are a number of benefits to a carefully implemented trusts strategy. By understanding a few of the key principles at work in Mexican estate planning and fideicomisos (trusts), families can successfully protect their wealth as they pass assets on from one generation to the next, helping them to properly achieve tax efficiency, compliance and confidentiality.

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Estate Planning

Trust Letters of Wishes – a Trust Officer’s View

By Brian Hatton, Greystone LLC

The Anglo Saxon form of discretionary trust has been popularly used for a very long time, amongst other things to help manage the protection and (hopefully, orderly) distribution and redistribution of family wealth. This article is from a practitioner’s standpoint to highlight some simple practices that can help create a great result rather than a cautionary tale.

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Estate Planning

Individual savings, personal pension plan… what’s new in the UK?

By Bérangère Hassenforder, Anthony & Co UK Ltd

As a reminder, an individual savings account provides a tax free environment for savings. On 1 July 2014, all ISAs became New ISAs or NISAs. The government changed the name to reflect the increased limits and flexibility that are available to account holders. From 1 July, the annual allowance is increased and individuals are able to save up to a maximum of GBP 15,000 in this efficient tax wrapper for the 2014/15 tax year.

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Estate Planning

Trustees’ Duties to Disclose Information to Beneficiaries

By Robert Worthington, Shea Nerland Calnan LLP

High net worth families will often use discretionary trusts for asset protection, tax and estate planning, and charitable purposes. Maintaining privacy may also be a desired objective in utilizing a trust. Clients should be aware, however, that trustees have a duty to disclose information to beneficiaries. Even experienced trust practitioners are often surprised to learn of the degree to which trustees have a duty to disclose information, even where the trust is fully discretionary.

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