Category Archives: Blog

Worried About Challenges to Your Estate Plan? Make It No Contest

Estate planning is all about protecting your family and ensuring that your wealth is distributed per your wishes. So, the idea that someone might challenge your estate plan can be disconcerting. One strategy for protecting your plan is to include a “no-contest” clause in your will or revocable trust (or both). What’s a No-Contest Clause?…
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Asset Valuations and Your Estate Plan Go Hand In Hand

If your estate plan calls for making noncash gifts in a trust or outright to beneficiaries, you need to know the values of those gifts and disclose them to the IRS on a gift tax return. For substantial gifts of noncash assets other than marketable securities, it’s a good idea to have a qualified appraiser…
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The Stretch IRA: A Simple Yet Powerful Estate Planning Tool

The IRA’s value as a retirement planning tool is well known: IRA assets compound on a tax-deferred (or, in the case of a Roth IRA, tax-free) basis, which can help build a more substantial nest egg. But if you don’t need an IRA to fund your retirement, you can use it as an estate planning…
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Three Mid Year Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals

In the quest to reduce your tax bill, year end planning can only go so far. Tax-saving strategies take time to implement, so review your options now. Here are three strategies that can be more effective if you begin executing them mid year: 1. Consider Your Bracket The top income tax rate is 39.6% for taxpayers…
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When Does Your Nonprofit Owe UBIT on Investment Income?

In recent years, the IRS has increased its scrutiny of nonprofits’ unrelated business income (UBI). Dividends, interest, rents, annuities and other investment income generally are excluded when calculating unrelated business income tax (UBIT). However, there are two exceptions where such income is taxable. 1. Debt-financed Property When your nonprofit incurs debt to acquire an income-producing…
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All Fringe Benefits Aren’t Created Equal For Tax Purposes

According to IRS Publication 5137, Fringe Benefit Guide, a fringe benefit is “a form of pay (including property, services, cash or cash equivalent), in addition to stated pay, for the performance of services.” But the tax treatment of a fringe benefit can vary dramatically based on the type of benefit. Generally, the IRS takes one of…
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Don’t Make Hunches – Crunch The Numbers

Some business owners make major decisions by relying on gut instinct. But investments made on a “hunch” often fall short of management’s expectations. In the broadest sense, you’re trying to answer a simple question: If my company buys a given asset, will the asset’s benefits be greater than its cost? The good news is that…
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Are Your Retirement Savings Secure From Creditors?

A primary goal of estate planning is asset protection. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you wind up with no wealth to share with your family. If you have significant assets in employer-sponsored retirement plans or IRAs, it’s important to understand the extent to…
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Does Your Nonprofit’s Board Understand Its Fiduciary Duties?

Interest in nonprofits’ governance practices from lawmakers, watchdog groups, and the general public has been growing in recent years. If your board hasn’t reviewed its roles and responsibilities recently, now is a good time. 3 Primary Responsibilities Nonprofit board members — whether compensated or not — have a fiduciary duty to the organization. Some states…
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