Articles

The Multi-Pronged Approach to Paying for Your Child’s Education

As higher education costs continue to rise, it’s important to consider how best to fund your child’s or grandchild’s education. I propose a multi-pronged approach to utilize tax-advantaged 529 plans, trusts, and term life insurance. The 529 plan offers great long-term savings capability, but in the event of a worst-case scenario, a trust with life insurance funding provides a safety net for the children. Let’s start with a young couple with young children. Assume that couple has limited resources proportional...

Charitable Lead Trust

What is a charitable giving technique that doubles as a wealth transfer technique to avoid estate taxes and at the same time works especially well in a low-interest rate environment (as we find ourselves in now)? The Charitable Lead Trust. First, let’s set the stage. This type of trust is usually implemented after other basics are done — things like your will and powers of attorney and health care directive. Also, it is usually (but not always) in the category...

MIDYEAR OUTLOOK 2021 – Picking Up Speed

LPL Financial Research Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed is designed to help you navigate the risks and opportunities over the rest of 2021 and beyond. While the speed can be exhilarating as economic growth accelerates, it can also be dangerous. Midyear Outlook 2021 looks ahead for opportunities, but also watches for new hazards created by the reopening. With the U.S. economy reopened, the growth rate may peak in second quarter 2021, but...

Creating Income From Investment Accounts

One common concern for investors is seeking a reliable source of passive income. Sometimes it is not immediately evident to those investors that an investment account can easily produce passive income. Many investors that are new to investing in the broader stock market like to evaluate the investment alongside other investments for which they have a better understanding. For example, an investor might own a rental property. The investor understands the assets (the rental property) and understands the income paid...

Family Car Doctrine of Liability

From time to time, it is important to take stock of our own personal liability exposure and find ways to mitigate that liability. Liability exposure can creep into our lives in subtle ways that can have profound effects on our financial security. One such way that a person can expose himself or herself to additional liability is through the “family car doctrine” which rests on the broader legal liability concept of respondeat superior. Let’s break it down. What liability? Let’s...

Contract Law – Offer, Acceptance, and Consideration

What are the components of an enforceable contract? In other words, if you or your business makes an agreement with another person or entity, what makes the agreement enforceable? Let’s review of some of the technical and practical considerations for contract enforcement. Must it be in writing? The general rule is that a contract must be in writing, though there are technical exceptions to this rule. But, practically speaking, every contract should be in writing. Not only does it allow the...

Beneficiary Designations (Retirement Accounts and Insurance)

One of the biggest areas that is often overlooked in an estate plan are the seemingly innocuous  beneficiary designations tied to assets like retirement accounts and life insurance. The beneficiary designation seems of limited importance – you just put down the names of the people who get the retirement account at death, right? The problem is not even necessarily addressed when an individual or couple works with an attorney to devise a professional estate plan because there is often...