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Encourage clients to communicate estate plans before death

Clients should communicate with their families about their estate plans to avoid the “big reveal” after they die, writes Brad Wheeler of AssetMark Trust Co. He suggests encouraging clients to sit down with family members and explain decisions or do so in a written document. WealthManagement

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Commentary: Life insurance’s function in estate planning to shift

The new tax law has effects on estate planning that clients and their financial advisors might not yet fully understand, including that life insurance might serve chiefly as a "useful backstop that will become more common in the new trust planning," writes Martin Shenkman of Shenkman Law. Other changes include…

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How to stop assets from vanishing in wealth transfers

Trillions of dollars will be handed from one generation to the next in coming decades, but research shows clients rarely take precautions to ensure wealth does not erode afterward. Joe Rokowski, president and CEO of MassMutual Trust, lists 10 steps advisers can take to help clients effectively transfer wealth. WealthManagement.com…

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Commentary: Don’t delay estate planning while awaiting tax changes

Advisers should not delay estate planning for clients even though President Donald Trump could try to overhaul the tax code, Martin Shenkman writes. Valuable strategies in the current environment include having flexibility in trust structures, forming a trust in states with favorable laws, using a trust protector and establishing a…

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Commentary: Estate-planning doubts plague advisers

At the recent Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning conference in Orlando, Fla., financial advisers expressed concern over uncertainty in estate planning under the Trump administration and the policies it will adopt, writes Kevin Matz. The possibility and consequences of a potential estate-tax repeal led to no clear consensus, although Matz…

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Advisers should focus on the benefits of estate planning for clients

Many people avoid estate planning until it is too late, creating an opportunity and challenge for financial planners. A 2015 CNBC survey showed 38% of those with at least $1 million of investable assets have not sought advice on setting up an estate plan. The first step for advisers is…

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How to get clients to embrace estate planning

How to get clients to embrace estate planning Plenty of great entrepreneurs do not seem to grasp the significance of sound estate planning. “Maybe it is time to reframe the objective into terms they understand. What if you told your client that a great estate plan is like a business…

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Former “Simpsons” exec had estate-planning near-miss

Former “Simpsons” exec had estate-planning near-miss Sam Simon, a co-creator and former executive producer of “The Simpsons,” was being treated for terminal colon cancer when he realized his fortune risked becoming tangled in legal red tape if he died. He had only a will in place, meaning much of his…

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Commentary: Estate-planning exemption will boost life insurance’s appeal

Commentary: Estate-planning exemption will boost life insurance’s appeal The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 provides a permanent exemption in gift and estate tax, Kenneth Cymbal writes. “Planning will become more income tax-driven,” and changes are creating a new environment that will increase the appeal of highly funded life insurance…

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