Estate Planning

COVID-19, the job market, and now inflation consume us. Older Americans and those with disabilities are more drastically affected by all three, especially due to the consistent need for quality caregiving services in an unstable economy.

In January 2019, a Harvard Business School Report compelled the country to acknowledge the “caregiving shortage crisis,” which has only worsened post the pandemic. Millions of seniors and people with disabilities require long-term services and support, and most want these services at
Continue Reading Drafting Caregiver Agreements that Combat the Caregiving Crisis

One of the most common questions asked by our clients is, “What is the difference between a will and a trust, and which is right for me?”  Last week, I provided a brief summary of the differences between these two common estate planning tools in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this blog post, I’ll provide more details about the distinguishing factors.

Wills and trusts share some commonalities, including:

  • You may use a will or


Continue Reading Will or Trust: Which is Right for Me?

The worldwide equity market tumult is creating some unique and unprecedented challenges. However, plunging asset values are presenting some rare opportunities in wealth planning that are often only seen once in a generation. Below are some strategies you may wish to incorporate into your estate and tax planning during this time.

Basic Estate Planning: Now, more so than ever, it is important to make sure your family is provided for in your estate plan. This means reviewing your current
Continue Reading Estate and Tax Planning During Market Tumult

Many of us became attorneys because our reaction to math was “Ugh, not if I can avoid it!”

Not to say any of us are bad at math, but after years of watching lawyer dramas, we didn’t exactly envision our legal careers involving intricate spreadsheets of income and asset classes, monthly care costs, divestment divisors, and so forth.

However, providing the best guidance to our clients often requires exactly that: a deep dive into what puts the client and
Continue Reading Basic Math in Elder Law

You’ve finally decided to meet with a lawyer to create an estate plan, and you’re thinking about whether you should create a trust. Or perhaps you already have your estate plan in place and its cornerstone is a revocable trust. Revocable trusts are a very common and effective estate planning tool – but can you separate trust fact from fiction? This snapshot will highlight some of the most common misconceptions about revocable trusts.

Myth #1: There’s a difference between
Continue Reading Revocable Trusts – Separating Fact from Fiction

We are often asked, “What is an estate plan?” An estate plan can mean different things depending on your unique personal and financial situation. We structure your estate plan based on many things, such as whether you are single, married, or divorced; whom you want your estate to pass to upon your death; and the complexity and makeup of your assets. Some individuals may need more estate planning, some may need less.

Here is a list of the typical
Continue Reading What is an Estate Plan?

On August 14, 1945, Life magazine photojournalist, Alfred Eisenstaedt, captured the spirit of the nation in his photo of a sailor embracing a nurse in New York’s Times Square. It was the end of World War II, and America was at the top of its game. Although the US had been late to enter the war, after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it was all-hands-on-deck. In his best-selling book, Tom Brokaw described the veterans and
Continue Reading The Great Wealth Transfer and Its Implications on Estate, Trust, and Probate Litigation


Established in 2003, Wispact, Inc., is a private nonprofit organization that maintains and administers pooled special needs trusts for nearly 4,000 individuals with disabilities throughout Wisconsin. What Is a Pooled Trust? A pooled special needs trust (PSNT) is a type of trust arrangement where there is one master trust document that details the pertinent definitions, powers, and duties that control all the sub-accounts created under it. A sub-account is created under a PSNT when a beneficiary or
Continue Reading Wispact at a Glance

On February 24, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed regulations addressing the calculation and payment of required minimum distributions under qualified retirement plans (the Proposed Regulations). The Proposed Regulations are generally designed to address the changes to a participant’s required beginning date and payment of death benefits enacted under the SECURE Act.

Applicable to all plan sponsors, the Proposed Regulations update existing regulations to account for the increase in a participant’s required beginning date to age 72.
Continue Reading IRS Provides Additional Clarity on Required Minimum Distributions Calculations

As elder law and special needs planning attorneys, many of us are involved in what might be considered “extracurricular” work activities – i.e., all those things we do that flow directly from the profession we have chosen.

We serve on boards. We volunteer for nonprofits and organizations. We advocate for causes that are important to us. We coordinate with other groups and professionals who help serve our clients. We identify gaps in the systems we work with, and daydream
Continue Reading Elder Law Lawyers: There’s a Grant for You

You likely are aware, from the news and our prior communications, that Congress currently is considering proposals that may have a significant impact on many estate plans. Although we still cannot be certain which, if any, of the proposed changes will become law, we want to provide you with an overview of their potential effect on many estate planning situations.

The Proposals

You may have heard about two proposals introduced in Congress last year. One is a bill sponsored
Continue Reading Current Status of Federal Estate and Gift Tax Proposals

Last year, multiple proposals were introduced in Congress that would have significantly altered transfer tax planning for wealthy individuals and business owners. The proposals fell flat due to razor thin majorities the Democrats hold in Congress. Even if no changes occur in the near term, on January 1, 2026, current law automatically “sunsets,” which will result in estate tax exemptions being halved.

The following is a review of a few significant transfer tax planning considerations you should consider in
Continue Reading Transfer Tax Planning Considerations for 2022

This article is not tax advice and the discussion herein is oversimplified to relay the concept of step-up in basis. Your individual situation should be reviewed by your attorney and tax professional.

There has been a lot of discussion in Congress about what, if anything, should be done with the income tax code to address step-up in basis. Step-up in basis is a concept that affects beneficiaries who liquidate the assets of a person who passes away (“Decedent”). Not
Continue Reading What is Step-Up in Basis & Why is it Important?

Drafting an estate plan allows a person to put into writing their wishes for division of assets upon death.  Sometimes this means making a choice to give more to one child over the other, or to completely write out natural heirs of law.  An uncle whose nephew is like a son to him may bypass his brother or sister to provide for that nephew; a parent might give more to a child with special needs or a child that
Continue Reading Pros and Cons of Using the No-Contest Clause

Florida recently enacted two major pieces of legislation that provide significant new estate planning opportunities for families with ties to the sunshine state. The Community Property Trust Act (CPTA) and the Florida Uniform Directed Trust Act (FUDTA), both of which went into effect earlier this year, are summarized below.
Community Property Trust Act
Florida is not a community property state, however, CPTA allows married couples to opt into community property treatment by creating a “community property trust” and transferring
Continue Reading New Estate Planning Opportunities with Florida Trusts

On November 4, 2021 the Internal Revenue Service announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. The vast majority of the limits shown below have increased from last year.
 

Qualified Plan Limit
Cost-of-Living Adjustments

401(k) and 403(b) elective deferral limit

2021 – $19,500

2022 – $20,500

$200,000 compensation limit

2021 – $290,000

2022 – $305,000

$160,000 defined benefit limit

2021 – $230,000

2022 – $245,000

$40,000 defined contribution limit

2021 – $58,000

2022 – $61,000

$80,000
Continue Reading 2022 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2022 Social Security Taxable Wage Base