NAEPC Webinars:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Elder Law and Special Needs Planning

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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This intermediate level program will provide an update on elder law and special needs planning, including how to draft a plan that works and takes into account future incapacity of the client and benefiicaries.  Use of trusts will be discussed, as well as appropriate trust distribution standards.

Bernard A. Krooks is the founding partner of the New York law firm Littman Krooks LLP and chair of its elder law and special needs department. He is past president of the Arc of Westchester, the largest agency in Westchester County, NY serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

A frequent presenter at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning and other national estate planning conferences, Mr. Krooks is immediate-past Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and Chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Group of the Real Property, Trust & Estate Law (RPTE) Section of the American Bar Association. He is past president and fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), past president and founding member of the New York Chapter of NAELA, past Chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, and past president of the Special Needs Alliance, a national invitation-only non-profit organization dedicated to assisting individuals with special needs and their families.

Mr. Krooks, author of numerous articles on elder law and related topics, is chair of the Elder Law Committee of Trusts & Estates Magazine, and serves on the Wolters Kluwer Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board and the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Longevity

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Reverse Mortgages

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Complimentary Sponsored Webinar: Life Settlement Legal and Ethical Responsibility

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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Disruption is the new normal for many planning professionals that work with their clients in a fiduciary capacity. It's difficult for any fiduciary to feel comfortable today working with clients on matters that are outside of their area of expertise. This is especially true with life settlements.

Life settlement providers, who represent the institutional investors, have noticed the lack of life settlement discussions and education coming from planning professionals and are filling this void by increasing their direct-to-consumer marketing. Such direct marketing exploits a crack in the chain of fiduciary oversight and places senior clients in a position where they might enter into a contract to sell their life insurance policy without having any advocate at the table to protect their best interests in the life settlement process. 

We will discuss multiple disruptive factors that have negatively impacted senior clients and show how we arrived at a point where so many seniors are not represented by a fiduciary when they sell their policy on the secondary market. We will review life settlement regulations, laws, and litigation that protect the rights of policy owners to sell their policies. Our main goal is to alleviate the confusion surrounding life settlements that have caused a majority of fiduciary advisors to avoid discussing life settlements with their clients. We will close with a list of Life Settlement Best Practices for Fiduciaries that will help them protect their client's best interest if their client is planning to lapse or surrender an existing life insurance policy.

Jon B. Mendelsohn, CEO of Ashar Group/Ashar SMV, is an accomplished presenter and frequent speaker at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) annual ENGAGE Conference, the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), Advisors in Philanthropy (AIP), and several other conferences and meetings nationally. Ashar Group is an independent resource that supports financial advisors and fiduciaries by providing life insurance appraisals, life settlements, and longevity services. 

Registration information will be posted soon.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Basis Step-Up Strategies in Light of Portability and Tax Law Changes

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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We will review a variety of basis step-up strategies, including tools to allow couples in common law states to get community property benefits, modifying irrevocable trusts to make them includible in the primary beneficiary's, or selling assets from an irrevocable trust (income-tax free) to the grantor. We will discuss how portability plays into basis step-up planning and how those with small, medium and large estates may benefit.

Steve Gorin is a partner in Thompson Coburn LLP, headquartered in St. Louis, with other offices including Chicago and Los Angeles. He uses his background as a CPA to integrate income tax planning into estate planning for business owners and wealthy individuals. For more on Steve, see http://thompsoncoburn.com/people/steve-gorin, and for free resources (including over 2,000 pages on planning for owners of private businesses) see https://www.thompsoncoburn.com/insights/blogs/business-succession-solutions/about.  

Registration information will be posted soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Charitable Giving and Tax Planning Strategies in the TCJA Era

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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The tax act formerly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) fundamentally altered the charitable giving and tax planning landscape for all donors. In this program, the presenter will summarize the major tax law provisions that impact charitable giving and donors, and identify and discuss key charitable giving and tax planning opportunities and strategies available to donors today.

Patrick J. Saccogna, JD, LL.M. (taxation), CPA*, AEP®, is a partner in the Personal & Succession Planning practice group of Thompson Hine LLP, in Cleveland, Ohio, and focuses his practice on counseling high net worth individuals, families, and closely-held businesses in a wide range of personal, charitable, business, tax, multi-generational wealth transfer, asset protection, and succession planning matters, and representing fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate and trust administration, tax compliance, and fiduciary litigation matters. Patrick is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Ohio, and is an Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. Patrick is currently serving as the Chair of University Hospitals' Diamond Advisory Group, is a past President of The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, a past Chair of the Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, a past Chair of Case Western Reserve University's Estate Planning Advisory Council, is ranked in Chambers HNW 2019 (Ohio: Private Wealth Law), and received the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland's 2017 Distinguished Estate Planner Award. [* = inactive CPA status]

 

 

 

Registration information will be posted soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - TBD

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - TBD

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Planning Team Revenue Opportunities Generated by New Tax Law

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

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Listen to this program if you are interested in how an insurance professional has used the recent tax legislation to help clients plan by including several members of the planning team. This intermediate level program will include multiple case examples.

Terri Getman is a nationally recognized lecturer, author and advisor to financial representatives who provide advice to families and privately-held business owners across the U.S. For more than 30 years Terri has specialized in the appropriate use of life insurance in client’s estate, business and executive benefit plans. Terri currently works for Diversified Brokerage Services, one of the largest life insurance brokerage general agencies, but for most of her career she held positions in advanced marketing at several large insurance carriers.  

Issue 4 – May, 2008

Helpful Information from the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils

Compiled by: John J. Scroggin, Editor of the NAEPC Journal

Facts, Figures & Forms

Social Security Wage Base Changes. Effective Jan. 1, 2008, the maximum earnings subject to Social Security (OASDI) tax increases to $102,000. The Medicare tax of 1.45% is still applied to all wages.

Automobile Expenses. The 2008 standard mileage rate for computing the deductible costs of operating a vehicle for business use is 50.5 cents per mile. It is 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

2007 Consumer Price Index: The 2007 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was 4.1%. The CPI rate at the end of December was 210.036.

Audit Chances. In March of this year, the IRS issued its annual data book (IRS Publication 55B, available at www.IRS.gov). The book provides statistical data on the IRS’s activities from October 2006 through September 2007. Included in the information were the following facts:

  • Roughly 1% of all individual income tax returns were audited (1,384,563 out of a total of 134.5 million returns that were filed). 36.5% were audited because of the earned income credit. 77.5% of all audits were by correspondence, meaning that agents conducted audits on about 0.225% of all filed returns. Only 12% of these agent conducted audits resulted in no changes.
  • For individual returns with income from $200,000 to $1 million, the audit rate was 2% for returns without business related items and 2.9% for returns with business related items. For returns with income of $1 million or more, the audit rate was 9.3%.
  • C Corporations with below $10 million of assets had an audit rate of 0.9%., while those with assets above $10 million had an audit rate of 16.8%. This compares to a 0.5% rate for S corporations and 0.4% for partnerships.
  • Fiduciary income tax returns had an audit rate of 0.1%.
  • Estate tax returns were audited 7.7% of the time, while gift tax returns were audited 0.6% of the time.
  • The IRS received roughly 46,000 offers in compromise and accepted roughly 12,000 (26%).
  • The IRS initiated 4,211 criminal investigations, with 2,837 referrals for prosecution and 2,155 convictions. Of those sentenced, 98.5% were given imprisoned, home confinement or electronic monitoring.

New Employment Forms. Effective as of December 26, 2007, the Federal Government has changed the I-9 Immigration Form. All employers, regardless of size are required to fill one out for each new employee. There is also a new Federal W-4 Forms for all new employees.

Notices & Forms from the IRS

IRS Penalties. The IRS has issued Fact Sheet 2008-19 which provides information to taxpayers on the imposition of civil penalties. It can be found at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=181068,00.html.

Filing Past-due Returns. The IRS has issued Fact Sheet 2008-12 which provides information to taxpayers on filing past due returns. The fact sheet can be found athttp://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=178194,00.html.

Defining Independent Contractors. The IRS has issued Fact Sheet 2008-27 which provides information to businesses in correctly determining whether someone is an employee or independent contractor. The IRS cited three areas of review in making the determination: behavioral control, financial control, and type of relationship. The fact sheet also clarifies that being a part time worker or a worker who earns less than $600 is not generally relevant to the question of whether the worker is an independent contractor or employee. Finally, the report notes that even if the employer out sources its payroll (e.g., through a payroll reporting company), the employer remains liable if the third party provider does not make the required employment tax deposits. A copy of the report can be found at:www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=177092,00.html

If you or a client has made a mistake in classification, go to www.IRS.gov to find instructions on how to correct past classification mistakes.

Employer Owned Life Insurance. IRS has created Form 8925, Report of Employer-Owned Life Insurance Contracts. The form is a result of the Pension Protection Act of 2006’s enactment of Code Sections 6039I and 101(j), which provides for new rule on taxing employer owned life insurance issued after August 17, 2006, unless certain conditions are meet. Generally, every employer owning life insurance policies issued after Aug. 17, 2006, must file this form for each tax year the contract is owned. Unless there is a material change to the policy, employers are not required to complete the form for a life insurance contract issued after Aug. 17, 2006, if it is issued as part of a Code Sec. 1035 exchange of a policy issued on or before Aug. 17, 2006.

Trust IRA Form. The IRS has created Form 5305 – an IRS approved form for trust held IRAs. They also have created IRS Form 5305A which is their sample document for the “custodial” type IRAs.

Helpful Websites

Ever Wonder about the Efficiency of a Charity? There is a website that shows how much of a charity’s income goes to charitable programs as opposed to overhead and administrative costs. See: http://www.charitynavigator.org

Charitable Information Source. CharitablePlanning.com provides comprehensive resources for professionals on charitable planning. Included on the site are current news, commentary and articles on charitable planning subjects, a table of contents with links to rulings and cases impacting charities and planned giving ideas. The website includes calculators for various types of charitable trusts.

Wondering about that IRS Refund? Use the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund” tool athttp://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96596,00.html. You can check on electronically filed returns in 7 days and mailed returns in 4 weeks.

Wondering About your Life Expectancy? Try www.DeathClock.com for the expectations – down to the second. A potentially depressing place to go.

Wondering about Relative Tax Costs in that Retirement State? Go towww.retirementliving.com to find a detailed comparison of the all of the taxes imposed by states.

State Law Comparisons. As a service to our members, NAEPC affiliated estate planning councils can access Steve Leimberg’s website for a substantially reduced cost. If your council does not provide this benefit, talk to your council officers. One example of the benefit of access is a series of tables prepared by Dick Nenno (for subscribers, go towww.leimbergservices.com and click on the blue state law tab). The topics include:

  • A Comparison of 6 DAPT Acts
  • State Liability Systems Ranking
  • State Perpetuities Laws
  • State Power to Adjust and UniTrust Statutes,
  • State Self-Settled Spendthrift Trust Statutes,
  • State Third-Party Spendthrift Trust Statutes,
  • Uniform Trust Code State Citations,
  • State Law Forum Shopping Creditor Remedy Table for LLCs and FLPs

Looking for Estate Planning, Business and Tax Forms? Try www.ali-aba.org for innovative forms. There is a charge, but the forms are excellent.

Links to Tax Policy Resources. The Tax Foundation provides an excellent list of links to other tax resources. Go to www.taxfoundation.org. A another excellent source of tax related links is Steve Leimberg’s website at www.leimbergservices.com.

Social Security, Pensions & Retirement

Taking your Social Security Benefits. A lead article in USA Today on January 14, 2008 discussed when retirees should begin taking their social security benefits. Among the article’s conclusions:

  • The 79 million baby boomers are expected to live longer than any previous American generation.
  • Most baby boomers intend to start taking smaller benefits as early as possible (at age 62) rather then waiting for full benefits after age 65 or 66.
  • According to the American Academy of Actuaries, the longer you expect to live, the more you should delay your benefits. It noted that someone expecting to live to their mid-90s would loose $150,000 in benefits by taking them at age 62. The Social Security Administration indicates that the number is around $54,000.
  • The Social Security Administration has projected that the average “break-even” age for social security benefits is age 72. Thus, if you expect to live beyond age 72, a deferral may provide you more benefits in the long term.

Among the factors the article says need to be considered are:

  • Your health and expectation of living a long life
  • The health and life expectancy of your spouse because taking benefits early may reduce the spouse’s survivor benefits.
  • Whether you intend to work after you reach the full retirement age, because benefits are cut $1 for each $2 of earned income over the base (in 2008 $13,560) until you reach your normal retirement age.
  • Taxes may be imposed on 50-85% of your social security benefits if you have other sources of income.
  • How badly you want to retire and how much you need social security benefits to do so.
  • The fear that if Social Security benefits are cut in the future, the cut will not affect those receiving current benefits.

VA Aid and Attendance Benefit. An often overlooked pension benefit is the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefit which can provide benefits (up to $1,554 for single veterans and $1,842 for married veterans) for poorer disabled Veterans who served during a war. Benefits are in addition to any other VA benefits the person may be receiving. For more information, see: www.veteranaid.org

Trends Worth Knowing

Baby Boomers. See this Journal’s Editor’s Column on the Unexpected Consequences of the Baby Boomers.

US Growth will be Impacted by Immigration. In a February 2008 report, the Pew Research Center projected that the US population will increase to 438 million in 2050 (up from 296 million in 2005), with 82% of the increase being from immigrants who arrived after 2005 and their descendants. The full report can be found at http://pewresearch.org

Do you have some Information which might be Helpful to other Estate Planners? Send an email to the Editor at John@scrogginlaw.com.