A smart estate plan should leave no doubt as to your intentions. Writing a letter of instruction can go a long way toward clearly communicating all of your thoughts and wishes. Even though the letter, unlike a valid will, isn’t legally binding, it can be valuable to your surviving family members. The Devil is in […]Continue reading

You’d be surprised how often people fail to disclose foreign assets to their estate planning advisors. They assume that these assets aren’t relevant to their “U.S.” estate plans, so they’re not worth mentioning. But if you own real estate or other assets outside the United States, it’s critical to address these assets in your estate […]Continue reading

You create an estate plan to meet technical objectives, such as minimizing gift and estate taxes and protecting your assets from creditors’ claims. But it’s also important to consider “softer,” yet equally critical, goals. These softer goals may include educating your children or other loved ones on how to manage wealth responsibly. Or, you may […]Continue reading

Did you know that one of the most effective estate-tax-saving techniques is also one of the simplest and most convenient? By making maximum use of the annual gift tax exclusion, you can pass substantial amounts of assets to loved ones during your lifetime without any gift tax. For 2022, the amount is $16,000 per recipient. […]Continue reading

Among the many decisions you’ll have to make as your estate plan is being drafted is who you will appoint as the executor of your estate and the trustee of your trusts. These are important appointments, and, in fact, both roles can be filled by the same person. Let’s take a closer look at the […]Continue reading

There’s no shortage of online do-it-yourself (DIY) tools that promise to help you create an “estate plan.” But while these tools can generate wills, trusts and other documents relatively cheaply, they can be risky except in the simplest cases. If your estate is modest in size, your assets are in your name alone, and you […]Continue reading

Because the federal gift and estate tax exemption amount currently is $12.06 million, fewer people need life insurance to provide their families with the liquidity to pay estate taxes. But life insurance can still play an important part in your estate plan, particularly in conjunction with charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) and other charitable giving strategies. […]Continue reading