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Top Picks

The following articles were “top picks” from the current and previous issues, in terms of views by AEP® designees:

Basic Estate Planning Documents: Overview and Planning Considerations
Professional articles and webinars so often focus on new developments, complex or creative new planning ideas, as practitioners are always seeking to understand what is changing and new ideas that they can bring to clients. However, the “bread and butter” of many practitioners, and a focal point of discussions all practitioners in all disciplines have with clients concerns the clients will, revocable trust, financial powers of attorney and health care documents. These “basic” or “core” documents, so important to practitioners and clients, don’t seem to get the limelight in the literature that they deserve. This article will seek to provide a practical discussion of these core documents. While many of the points are familiar to practitioners, the comments should be helpful to younger practitioners, and those not fully specialized in estate planning. Also, the discussions following will hopefully include many practical pointers some of which will hopefully be helpful to even experienced practitioners.
Authors: Thomas A. Tietz, Esq., Martin M. Shenkman, CPA/PFS, MBA, JD, AEP® (Distinguished), and Abigail E. O’Connor, Esq.

New RMD and QCD Planning Opportunities with Secure ACT 2.0 with Flowcharts
In late December of 2022, President Biden signed into law H.R. 2617, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023. The Act includes the provisions of the so-called “Secure 2.0 legislation,” which made many significant changes to the retirement savings landscape in the United States.
Author: Paul M. Caspersen, CFP®, MS (Financial Planning & Taxation), AEP®

Estate Planning Considerations Leading up to 2023, Plus a Year-End Checklist
Two national experts provide a concise list of considerations applicable to most clients for both 2023 and 2022.
Authors: Joshua S. Rubenstein, JD and Jonathan C. Byer, JD

Planning Opportunities for Inherited IRAs (PDF)
An important reminder that clients should review their plans in light of the SECURE Act.
Authors: Kenneth A. Horowitz, CLU®, ChFC®, RICP®, Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP® (Distinguished), CGMA®, and Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP® (Distinguished), JD

New Applicable Distribution Tables for Required Minimum Distributions from Qualified and Individual Retirement Accounts, Effective for 2022 (PDF)
A review of the new IRS tables used to compute annual minimum required distributions.
Reproduced courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)
Author: Michael J. Jones, CPA

How Your Estate Plan May be Affected by Potential Changes (PDF)
Three national experts provide a sample client letter to help explain how potential changes could affect your clients’ estate plans.
Reproduced courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)
Authors: Barry A. Nelson, JD, LL.M., Jennifer E. Okular, JD, LL.M., and Cassandra S. Nelson, JD

President Biden’s Budget Includes Big Tax Increases – What You Can Consider for Your Clients Now (PDF)
Four national industry experts (and members of our Publications Committee) came together to summarize and discuss recent proposals from the President, and how they could impact clients now and in the future.
Portions of the article originally published in Forbes.
Authors: Al W. King, III, JD, LL.M., AEP® (Distinguished), TEP, Charles Ratner, JD, CLU®, ChFC®, AEP® (Distinguished), Richard L. Harris, CLU®, AEP®, and Martin Shenkman, CPA/PFS, MBA, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)

Estate Planning for the 99 Percent: With No Estate Tax, Consider Income Tax, Financial and Personal Objectives (PDF)
An overview of the new reality in financial and estate planning for the vast majority of clients
Author: Steven Siegel, JD, LL.M. (taxation)

The Biden Estate Tax Cliff: Gifting Like it’s 2012 All Over Again (PDF)
As we get closer to the November election, more and more wealthy people will continue to hedge by making the gifts that they should have been making all along.
Reproduced courtesy of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc.
Author: Steven J. Oshins, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)

The authors detail provisions of the new act that are pertinent to small businesses and individuals.
Reproduced courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)
Authors: Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP® (Distinguished); Michael Geeraerts, CPA, JD, CGMA®, CLU®; and, Jim Magner, JD

Drafting Income Tax-Sensitive Trusts Under the New Tax Laws (PDF)
Tax law changes in 2017 and 2019 have altered the income tax consequences of utilizing trusts in estate planning. The authors outline current problems and propose solutions with sample language.
Authors: James G. Blase, CPA, JD, LL.M. and Ryan G. Polley, JD

Estate and Tax Planning Roadmap for 2019-2020 (PDF)
The authors clear a strategic path through our new planning landscape and illustrate techniques to traverse potential detours along the way.
Reproduced courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)
Authors: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA/PFS, MBA, JD, AEP® (Distinguished), Jonathan Blattmachr, Esq., AEP® (Distinguished), Joy Matak, JD, LL.M., and Sandra D. Glazier, JD

Income Tax Planning Using Estate Planning Techniques (PDF)
A comprehensive overview on dual purpose planning strategies. Includes key diagrams and financial illustrations.
Author: Stacy Eastland JD, AEP® (Distinguished)

Trust Planning After JCTA (PDF)
A must read!  A compendium of estate and tax planning strategies relevant in the wake of TCJA as well as other critical developments.
Reproduced courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)
Author: Jonathan Blattmachr, Esq., AEP® (Distinguished), and Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP® (Distinguished)

Exploiting the New IRC 199A Pass-Thru Business Deduction Using the Magical 28.57% W-2 Formula and Additional Taxpayers (PDF)
A sweet treat! Learn the 28.57% formula and how it can maximize the benefits of IRC Section 199A. Additional taxpayers may prove to be the cherry on top.
Reproduced courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)
Author: Steven J. Oshins, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)

How The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Might Change Estate Planning (PDF file)
From Issue 28 – April, 2018
Learn how to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid potential traps created by the TCJA and why it is important to revisit all existing planning!
Published with permission, The CPA Journal, the Voice of the Profession, January, 2018.
Author: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD, PFS, AEP® (Distinguished)
Checklist: Annual Review (PDF file)
From Issue 27 – October, 2017
This cool tool provides a quick overview of the suggested areas to review with your estate planning clients each year.
Author: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP® (Distinguished), JD
2017 Heckerling Institute of Estate Planning Highlights (PDF file)
From Issue 26 – May, 2017
Marty’s amazing PowerPoint hits the high points of Planning in Light of Repeal and Recent Developments, including Preferred Partnership Planning, Life Insurance, GRATs, Drafting Points, 2704 and many other critical categories.
Reproduced courtesy of Heckerling Institute and the University of Miami, and Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)
Author: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP® (Distinguished), JD
Estate Planning Traps That Have Nothing To Do With Estate Taxes (PDF file)
From Issue 25 – December 2016
A NAEPC Journal original! At a time when some clients may be wondering why they should proceed with estate planning due to the proposed elimination of the estate tax, this article reminds us that there are many issues to resolve aside from taxes and provides wise counsel on how to proceed.
Authors: Stuart M. Horwitz, JD, LLM (Taxation) and Jason S. Damicone, JD, LLM (Taxation)
Creative Planning Strategies Once the 2704 Regs Become Final (PDF file)
From Issue 24 – August, 2016
Hot off the presses. A critical read for some direction on the 2704 regs.
Reproduced courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)
Authors: Steven J. Oshins, JD, AEP® (Distinguished) and Robert S. Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP® (Distinguished
The Anatomy of the Perfect Modern Trust – Part 1 (PDF file)
From Issue 23 – March, 2016
The authors identify and examine methods to accomplish the 6 factors on the client “wish list”: Control; Use/Enjoyment; Flexibility; Creditor Protection; Tax Savings; and, Simplicity.
Reproduced courtesy of Thomson Reuters’ Estate Planning
Authors: Richard Oshins, JD, LL.M., MBA, AEP® (Distinguished) and Steven G. Siegel, LL.M.
Updated ACTEC State Death Tax Chart (PDF file)
From Issue 22 – October, 2015
Reprinted with the permission of ACTEC
Author: Charles Fox, IV, A.B., M.A., JD, AEP® (Distinguished)
Putting It All Together—Some Of The Best Planning Strategies We See In The New Frontier That Reduce Both Income Taxes And Estate Taxes (PDF file)
From Second Quarter, 2015 Issue
Author: S. Stacey Eastland, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)
Planning for Estates Under the $10 million Exemption (PDF file)
From First Quarter, 2015 Issue
Author: Steve Akers, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)