Articles

Simplifying Life and Administration after Life

Simplifying Life and Administration after Life Above all else, two issues impact the complexity and time and cost of the administration of a person’s estate more than the rest: the assets and the heirs. One of the keys from a planning perspective is to determine how best to position yourself to limit the complexity caused by those two issues. It is likely your estate will require some kind of administration. After a person dies, they own stuff. And necessarily, that stuff needs [...]

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Charitable Giving Options

Many of us find value in contributing our hard-earned cash or assets to support the organizations or causes that inspire us. This article explores your options for charitable giving. The simplest way to provide a gift is to write a check or gift cash. But, why engage in such a simple transaction when there are far more effective techniques that can provide the donor with compounding benefits, especially when it makes little or no difference to the receiving organization? When we [...]

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Protect Against the “Attractive Nuisance”

If you’ve ever driven past an abandoned house with rusted play equipment in plain sight and thought that it looked like a dangerous trap for unwary children, then you intuitively know about the concept of an “attractive nuisance.” Land owners owe a duty to those that come on the land. The level of “duty” owed to a person on your property usually depends on the status of the guest. And, that level of duty effects the potential liability of [...]

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Reconsider Adding Children to Your Bank Account

You’ve likely heard the conventional wisdom many times. Your friends or family or even at times the bank teller will counsel you that you should add your child to your bank account. Perhaps it’s a checking account or a savings account or both. The advice goes something like “If you want your children to have access to your money to be able to pay your bills should something happen to you, then you need to add them to your [...]

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LPL Research Outlook 2018

The LPL Research Outlook 2018: Return of the Business Cycle highlights the opportunities and potential challenges that may lie ahead for market participants as we get back to the traditional drivers that we’d expect to push the economy and markets forward. View the complete publication, featuring insightful commentary, as well as economic and market guidance for 2018.

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The Act makes extensive changes that affect both individuals and businesses. Some key provisions of the Act are discussed below. Most provisions are effective for 2018. Many individual tax provisions sunset and revert to pre-existing law after 2025; the corporate tax rates provision is made permanent. Comparisons below are generally for 2018. Read the full article: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

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Savor the Simplicity of the Community Property Agreement

As one year comes to an end and another begins, it’s worth taking stock of your estate plan and ponder whether Washington State’s Community Property Agreement is right for you. In all the complexity of the estate plan, the Community Property Agreement is one document in particular that offers simplicity and yet is still a powerful component to an estate plan. It can be drafted on a single page and contain fewer words than this article. And, it provides [...]

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Estate Plan Strategy: Tax Deferral with the IRA Stretch

Your Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is special. The beauty of the IRA is that a person does not pay income tax on assets that go into the IRA. The assets are contributed pre-tax and they grow tax-deferred. It is an effective strategy to both save for retirement and to reduce your current taxable income and thus your resulting tax. And, it can also be implemented to provide asset protection as well. Washington law generally provides that qualified retirement [...]

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Consider the Professional Fiduciary in Your Estate Plan

I get this question a lot: “Beau, what’s the single most important thing I can do in my estate plan to ensure that my plan is carried out with the least amount of controversy, delay, and cost?” Of course, I always say, “You should always use an attorney to draft quality documents.” However, if my advice ended there, it would make for a rather short and uninformative article. So, what else should you focus on as the second-most important [...]

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The Effects of the Fiscal Cliff Avoidance on Estate Tax Planning in Washington State

The Effects of the Fiscal Cliff Avoidance on Estate Tax Planning in Washington State Estate tax planning took a marked change in 2013 when the federal estate tax became less relevant and the Washington state estate tax became the more oppressive tax for most residents of our state. To understand the shift we must first look to the past. In 2001, then President George W. Bush enacted sweeping tax legislation under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act [...]

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