Blocking & Tackling -- Defensive Planning

When we talk about "blocking and tackling" in terms of financial planning, we're referring to the defensive measures and mechanisms you need to have in place to have a solid foundation from which to grow.  

Things like insurances, wills, estate planning, cash reserves and other topics are highly relevant to defensive planning.

Take a look at your financial foundation and check off each one of the categories you see in the attached graphic.  If anything is lacking, drop us a line here and let's talk about how you can get back on track. 

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Do You Need a Living Trust?

You have probably heard others discussing living trusts but may not understand the reasons for them or whether you should have one.

Living trusts are an estate-planning tool, and there is not a one-type-fits-all living trust. Each one is customized to suit the special circumstances of the individual for whom it was created. The vast majority of the population can get by without using a living trust, and a simple will is perfect for most people, unless their estate is large or there are some special circumstances to deal with.

There actually are two types of these trusts: revocable and irrevocable. As the names imply, an irrevocable trust generally cannot be undone once made, while the provisions of a revocable trust can be changed or rescinded as long as the grantor (the individual who established the trust) is still living. A living trust becomes irrevocable when the grantor passes.

Because an irrevocable trust would only be established under very special circumstances, they...

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Overview Summary of Trump and Biden Tax Plans

We recently posted materials contrasting the Trump and Biden tax proposals, but you can head over to our LinkedIn page at the link below and download a high-level, textual summary of all of the tax laws in question and candidates' competing viewpoints on each one of them.  It's a handy tool for any tax planning you might be doing for post-election.  

Also, check out the rest of our September newsletter -- it's packed with great estate and tax planning tips.

See the summary and newsletter here.

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What Happens to Your Unpaid Debts If You Pass Away?

According to one recent study, consumer debt in the United States was approaching an incredible $14 trillion as of the second quarter of 2019. Mortgage debt alone had increased by about $407 billion from a few years earlier in 2017, and credit cards themselves had crossed the $1 trillion mark during the same period of time. If you're currently among the millions upon millions of Americans who have a significant amount of unpaid debt, the good news is that you're certainly not alone. But of course, that demands the question:

What happens to that debt if you were to suddenly pass away?

Whenever someone dies, all of their assets - including not only financial accounts but also real estate and other possessions - become what is then known as their estate. If you were to unfortunately die and leave behind unpaid debt, that estate (and its total value) is what creditors would go after to try to recoup some of their losses.

Of course, exactly what happens to your unpaid debt also...

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Wealth Transition and Succession Planning During COVID-19

In the current COVID-19 environment, businesses would do well to keep a close eye on issues surrounding wealth transition and succession planning.  Check out this article, which goes into some depth on the subject.

Here's an excerpt from the article that speaks to the urgency of this issue for many businesses:

"Thanks in no small part due to COVID-19, many private enterprises and even family-owned businesses have been forced to dramatically rethink their points of view on these and other important wealth transition and succession planning topics. Not only that, but when you consider that roughly $68 trillion is set to be passed down from Baby Boomers to their beneficiaries over the next ten years - an unprecedented transfer of wealth - it's clear that these are issues that must be assessed sooner rather than later." 

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Trump and Biden Tax Plans: Summary & Infographic

Yesterday we posted about the comprehensive summary Bloomberg had created regarding the tax proposals put forth by President Trump and candidate Joe Biden.  Check out this article for a higher-level summary of the proposals with a great infographic for quick reference.  

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Comparing and Contrasting the Trump and Biden Tax Plans

Head over to our LinkedIn page and check out the comprehensive summary we posted on President Trump and candidate Joe Biden's tax proposals.  It covers the entire range of potential provisions, so it's a great resource for getting ahead of your annual tax planning.   

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1031 Exchanges

The other day we posted about candidate Joe Biden's tax proposals, and the fact that it includes ending the provision in the tax code for 1031 Exchanges, or the "like-kind" swapping of one property for another.

Check out this overview from Investopedia on how 1031 Exchanges can be favorable for tax planning, among other things, and pay particular attention to the sensitive timelines involved to which investors must adhere.  

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Biden Tax Proposals Could Have Big Impact on Estate Plans

Recently, candidate Joe Biden floated potential tax proposals were he to be elected that would revisit various tax provisions impacting estate transfers, in particular, the stepped-up basis provision.  It's never too early to begin working on your estate plan, and in light of this news, it's definitely something you don't want to put off until it's too late. 

Head over to our LinkedIn page to check out the attached estate planning introduction to get started today:


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