News

20 October 2020

Usury and How to Avoid It

by Ross Spence

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7 June 2016

Powers of Attorney

Everyone is at risk of becoming incapacitated and not being able to manage his or her financial affairs.  A power of attorney or POA allows a person, usually referred to as a principal, to name someone to manage his or her affairs. 1.         “Durable” Power To provide for a potential disability, a person executes a […]

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20 May 2016

IRA’s and Nontraditional Assets

Upon retiring, many corporate executives and other employees decide to start a second career.  In some cases, these people roll over funds from their corporate retirement accounts to an individual retirement account (IRA).  The IRA then purchases a business that the person runs.  The goal, of course, is to avoid currently paying tax on the […]

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13 May 2016

Cashing Out of the Corporate Business (Part 2)

In the previous post, we discussed the advantages of making an S election five years prior to a corporation selling its assets.  A corporation that makes the S election typically avoids the two levels of tax (corporate level and shareholder level).  However, a corporation that makes an S election and sells its assets within five […]

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8 April 2016

Cashing Out of the Corporate Business

Business owners frequently plan to fund their retirement with the proceeds from a sale of their business.  However, they frequently fail to take the steps necessary to maximize the after-tax proceeds from the sale.  One such step relates to closely-held corporations and involves making an “S election” for tax purposes. Often, a small business will […]

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30 March 2016

PLANNING WITH TRUSTS

Sometimes a person, who we will call a donor, wishes to leave property in his or her will to a person who is not capable of managing it.  The concern is that the recipient may spend the inheritance foolishly, lose it in bad investments or have one of the recipient’s creditors take the property away […]

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18 March 2016

Care for Pets

Pets are an important part of many people’s lives. If you are one of those people, what would happen to your pets if you died or became disabled?  What would happen if your spouse is not around to care for the animal? The pet owner needs to provide for two different scenarios.  One scenario is […]

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11 March 2016

Retirement Plans and Trusts

People frequently use trusts as part of their financial and estate planning. A beneficiary typically may designate a trust to receive an interest in a qualified defined contribution plan (qualified plan) or IRA on his or her death. The problem is that the trust may not be able to stretch out the distributions from the qualified defined […]

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26 February 2016

Charitable Contributions of Retirement Plan Benefits

Each year Americans give billions of dollars to charity. Gifting an interest in a defined contribution plan or IRA to a charity can be a very effective tax strategy for making charitable gifts. (Note: This discussion does not apply to Roth IRAs; they are subject to a different set of rules.) Special Rule for IRAs IRA owners over […]

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24 February 2016

Getting Paid by the Bankrupt or Almost Bankrupt Client

Given what is going on in the Houston economy right now, we are anticipating a substantial increase in the number of companies that end up in bankruptcy (“BK”). You likely have clients or customers that are really struggling to survive and/or are actively preparing to file BK. If a client is preparing to file BK, […]

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19 February 2016

When Deferring Distributions is Not a Good Idea

In previous posts we have discussed the unique characteristics of defined contribution plans (such as profit-sharing plans and 401(k) plans) and IRAs. We noted that a person is usually better off delaying distributions from a defined contribution plan or IRA as long as possible. There are some situations where deferring distributions is not a good strategy. A […]

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12 February 2016

Five Traits of Retirement Plans (Traits 4 & 5)

We started this series of articles two weeks ago by noting the five key traits of qualified defined contribution retirement plans, such as profit-sharing plans or 401k plans, and IRAs. We mentioned the need to consider these characteristics when planning for these assets, including dispositions upon the plan beneficiary’s death. The traits that we listed […]

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5 February 2016

Five Traits of Retirement Plans (Traits 1-3)

Last week we discussed five traits of 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, and IRAs. We need to keep these traits in mind to maximize the economic benefits of these assets. These traits come to the forefront when we are doing estate planning. This week we discuss three of the five traits and their impact:  (1) plan income […]

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29 January 2016

Five Traits of Retirement Plans

For many people, an interest in a retirement plan, such as a profit-sharing plan, 401(k) plan, or individual retirement account (IRA), is their most significant asset. Planning for these assets is a real challenge. The complexity in this area is monumental. There are many different types of retirement plans. The retirement plan that we are focusing […]

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9 November 2015

Aging with Grace: Who Will Take Care of Me?

Many people will grow old and become disabled so that they can no longer care for themselves. People in this situation frequently rely on a spouse or child for care. However, some people won’t have a spouse or children. For other people, the spouse may have passed away or be too infirm to provide assistance. […]

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