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Discretionary vs. Fixed Trust

As we’ve explained in several prior newsletters, a trust is a legal relationship between three parties: the grantor, also called trustor or settlor, the trustee, and the beneficiary. The grantor is the person who creates and funds the trust. The trustee is the person who manages the trust property according to the terms of the trust agreement. The beneficiary is the person who benefits from the trust property.

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Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

This week I am spending time with family reflecting on all God's wonderful blessings in my life; my health, my children, my home, my firm family (all of you guys that I have the privilege of serving), and countless other blessings. I came across this prayer written by Ralph Waldo Emerson a few years ago, that captures these feelings of gratitude that I would like to share, because it is a reminder to be thankful for all things.

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Easy Mistakes to Avoid When Passing Assets to Your Children

A children’ s trust is the best way to protect and provide for your little ones. By creating a trust properly, you ensure that your children have the resources they need when they need it. However, your carefully laid plans can be ruined by making one of these common mistakes.

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The Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)

The tax Code provides a very strong incentive for making gifts of appreciated property to charity. Not only is there an income tax deduction for the fair market value of the contributed property, which offsets ordinary income, but at the same time you do not recognize the gain on which you would have been taxed had you sold the property and contributed the proceeds.

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The Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)

In a previous blog post, we talked about the grantor retained annuity trust, or GRAT, and gave a brief description of that planning strategy which is based on section 2702 of the tax Code. In short, the GRAT is a device for discounting the present value of a deferred gift, but it requires that the trust be funded with assets from which a fixed annuity can be paid. What if the asset you are trying to give to your children and grandchildren is your residence?

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What are Irrevocable Asset Protection Trusts?

If you're like most people, you have worked hard to accumulate assets over the years—assets that you want to protect for yourself and your loved ones. You may have also heard about irrevocable asset protection trusts and wondered if one might be right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss what irrevocable asset protection trusts are, who might need one, and the benefits of having one in place.

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What is Step-up Basis and Why Does it Matter?

When it comes to estate planning, one of the most important concepts to understand is step-up basis. What is step-up basis, and when does it apply? Why does it matter? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and provide some examples to help you better understand this important concept.

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What is Asset Protection Trust?

An asset protection trust (APT) is a legal arrangement that can help protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits. This type of trust can be very beneficial for high-net-worth individuals, business owners, and other individuals who want to protect their assets in case of unforeseen events. In this article, we will discuss what a APT is and who can benefit from having one.

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Life Estate Deeds: What They Are and Why You Need One

A life estate deed is a legal document that allows you to give someone else ownership of your property during your lifetime, while retaining the right to live there yourself. You can also transfer a life interest to an individual in your Will or Trust, which would allow that individual the right to live in the property for the rest of their lives, and then when they pass away, the remaining interest in the property goes to other people you designate in your Will or Trust.

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Qualified Domestic Trusts (QDOTs)

A QDOT, or qualified domestic trust, is a special type of trust designed to hold assets for the benefit of non-citizen spouses. Under federal law, non-citizen spouses are not entitled to the same inheritance tax exemptions as citizens, which can result in significant tax liability upon the death of the citizen spouse.

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