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Naming a Minor as Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy or Retirement Plan can Lead to Unintended Outcomes

A common estate planning mistake is to designate a minor as beneficiary — or contingent beneficiary — of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. While making your young child the beneficiary of such assets may seem like an excellent way to provide for him or her in the case…

4 Estate Planning Techniques for Blended Families

Today, it’s not unusual for a family to include children from prior marriages. These “blended” families can create estate planning complications that may lead to challenges in the courts after your death. Fortunately, you can reduce the chances of family squabbles by using estate planning techniques designed to preserve wealth…

Should You Form an LLC for Your Business?

One of the most important choices an organization will make when forming a new business is which legal structure to choose: limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship, corporation, nonprofit, cooperative, etc. The type of business entity that will ultimately be the right fit will depend on a variety of factors…

Only Certain Trusts Can Own S-Corporation Stock

S corporations must comply with several strict requirements or risk losing their tax-advantaged status. Among other things, they can have no more than 100 shareholders, can have no more than one class of stock and are permitted to have only certain types of shareholders. In an estate planning context, it’s…

5 Estate Planning Tips for the Sandwich Generation

The “sandwich generation” accounts for a large segment of the population. These are people who find themselves caring for both their children and their parents at the same time. In some cases, this includes providing parents with financial support. As a result, estate planning — which traditionally focuses on providing…

If you made gifts last year, you may (or may not) need to file a gift tax return

Gifting assets to loved ones is one of the simplest ways of reducing your taxable estate. However, what may not be as simple is determining whether you need to file a gift tax return (Form 709). With the April 17 filing deadline approaching, now is the time to find out…

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Expands Appeal of 529 Plans in Estate Planning

It’s common for grandparents to want to help ensure their grandchildren will get a high quality education. And, along the same lines, they also want the peace of mind that their wealth will be preserved for their children and grandchildren after they’re gone. If you’re facing these challenges, one option…

Make the Holidays Bright for You and Your Loved Ones with Annual Exclusion Gifts

As the holiday season quickly approaches, gift giving will be top of mind. While gifts of electronics, toys and clothes are nice, making tax-free gifts of cash using your annual exclusion is beneficial for both you and your family. Even in a potentially changing estate tax environment, making annual exclusion…

Piercing The Corporate Veil – When a Stockholder is Liable for the Obligations of a Corporation

Piercing the Corporate Veil Most Often Occurs in Instances of Fraud or Malfeasance Despite the general rule that stockholders are not personally liable to creditors of a corporation (the operational meaning of “limited liability”), there are specific circumstances where creditors may “pierce the corporate veil” to satisfy corporate obligations by…

Tips on How to Protect Your Common Law Trademark

Many start-ups are interested in protecting their brands, but initially may not have the resources to file trademark registrations with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Trademarks do not have to be registered with the USPTO in order for the trademark to be protected by the owner.  You may have…