Archives: Estate Planning

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The Importance of Planning Ahead for Succession of a Family Business with Active and Inactive Family Participants

You have spent a substantial portion of your life building or continuing a successful family business, and you have some children (or other family members) who are active in the business and others who are not. How do you handle an equitable distribution of your estate without adverse impact to family relationships and/or operation of the business? We find … Continue Reading

Let ILITs Pick up the Tab – Trusts That Protect Your Interest in the Family Business

It is common that one of the largest assets in a family business owner’s estate is his or her interest in the family business. This situation can be problematic because the owner’s interest in the company is included in the value of the owner’s gross taxable estate. The estate is required to pay debts, expenses, and taxes based on the taxable estate figu… Continue Reading

This Time Is Different: You Really Do Need to Update Your Will and Durable Power of Attorney

With the advent of higher exemptions with respect to the Federal Gift, Estate, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax passed last December (referred to as the 2017 Tax Act), it really is necessary to review your estate tax planning and it would also be a good time to review your durable power of attorney in light of the recent adoption of the Washington Uniform … Continue Reading

Don’t Leave Contaminated Real Property to Your Kids — A Toxic Legacy!

We invite your review of the linked article from Bloomberg BNA’s Environmental Due Diligence Guide Report™. There are dangers

inherent in leaving your heirs real property that may have been contaminated at some time in the past, even if you and your business were not the source of the contamination. The costs and benefits of ownership of such propertie… Continue Reading

Estate Planning Strategies Driven by Interest Rates

There are a number of estate planning strategies that work well to move assets in an efficient manner from one generation to another within a family. In evaluating any such strategy, one must consider the goals of the family, the underlying assets of the family and gift, estate, generation-skipping and income tax issues. In the current, historically low in… Continue Reading

IRS and Treasury Department to Withdraw Proposed Tax Regulations Curbing Valuation Discounts

In a positive development for closely-held business owners and their families, the Treasury Department recently recommended the complete withdrawal of its proposed tax regulations that would have severely limited the application of valuation discounts to transfers of partial interests in family businesses and other assets for gift, estate, and gen… Continue Reading

Tribal Estate Planning: Nuance and Consequence

Simple estate planning is pretty straightforward. There is usually a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, and Trust if necessary. But there is a niche practice within estate planning ripe with landmines waiting to detonate if one is not careful. This is estate planning for an enrolled Native American, and this niche of estate … Continue Reading

Plan to Communicate

Talking to your children about your estate planning is important, as Pat Green writes in a recent article, and is critical if you are a family business owner.

As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail, and you cannot plan for a family business if the future generations are not included in the planning discussions.

Click here to read the full art… Continue Reading

Effectively Utilize Your Combined Federal Gift and Estate Tax Exemption

As of 2016, each person has an aggregate $5.45 million exemption from the federal gift and estate taxes. This exemption can be used either during lifetime or at death (or both, if not all of it is used for lifetime gifts). When determining how best to make use of this exemption, make sure you consider – among other things – the federal income tax basis of any p… Continue Reading

Is Your Estate Tax Plan Out of Date?

Recent changes to the federal estate tax system now permit many more estates to avoid federal estate taxes altogether and also allow more effective income tax planning for children when they inherit at the time the survivor of Mom and Dad has died.  Also, while many states no longer have estate taxes, the estate tax systems in both Washington and Oregon are t… Continue Reading

Estate Planning, not Estate Taxes

Frequently you may see comments attacking the estate tax, and particularly the Washington estate tax, as applied to estates with family businesses.  As pointed out by Steve Parrish in his recent article in Forbes, the preservation of your family business, and transfer of it to your beneficiaries, has more to do with your ESTATE PLANNING, and a lot less t… Continue Reading

Do You Need a Living Trust?

There is a good chance that someone you know, perhaps a friend, family member, or financial advisor, has told you that you need a “Living Trust” rather than a Will.  Are they right?  Living Trusts have become increasingly popular estate planning devices and, in the right circumstances, they offer some significant advantages over a Will.  Yet while … Continue Reading

Retaining the Family Cabin

You have spent many weekends and summer vacations at your family cabin and now hold years of wonderful memories of these times.  Although the kids are gone, they are now coming back with your grandkids for great vacations.  You may want to leave this asset to your family to preserve it for their future years.  Should you?  And if wish to do so, what steps sho… Continue Reading