Articles

Preparing for College – Funding college with a 529 College Savings Plan or a Testamentary Trust?

Preparing for College – Funding college with a 529 College Savings Plan or a Testamentary Trust? At this time of year when high school students apply to the colleges of their dreams and matriculates return to their studies, it is important to consider your own situation and how you might be able to provide the funds to assist your children or grandchildren with their education. When a person sits down to do estate planning with an attorney or to discuss strategy...

Phantom Stock to Reward (and Retain) Key Personnel

Phantom Stock to Reward (and Retain) Key Personnel One challenge for the business owner is attracting and retaining key personnel. This challenge permeates all businesses from the largest to the smallest. At some point, the key person needs more incentive to stay and excel. One common tool to incentivize the employee to stay is to offer the employee stock. However, true stock incentive payments or options have some notable drawbacks discussed below. Enter Phantom Stock. It’s the coolest sounding arrangement that...

Washington’s New Power of Attorney Act

Estate planning attorneys often remind their clients when completing the estate plan that laws change frequently and the estate plan should be updated periodically to take into account not just changed family circumstances, but also the new laws. And, sometimes a new law has such broad implication for estate planning that it is deserves special attention. Such is the case with Washington’s new Power of Attorney Act. The Power of Attorney is a powerful and ubiquitous piece to your estate...

Outlook 2017: Gauging Market Milestones

In 2016, financial markets, the economy, and geopolitics experienced an unusual number of milestones that have come together to influence the investment landscape: a new president and administration, the stabilization of oil prices, and the end of an earnings recession. Being prepared for 2017 is about gauging these and other milestones, understanding their significance, and responding without overreacting. The LPL Research Outlook 2017: Gauging Market Milestones features market guidance, with forecasts for stocks, bonds, and the economy, that can...

Organizational Documents are Imperative to an Entrepreneur’s Business

Organizational Documents are Imperative to an Entrepreneur’s Business An entrepreneur has an idea…a vision…a way to make money…a niche to fill. She has the know-how, she has the connections, she has the backers and maybe partners. Now, she needs an LLC. The entrepreneur should be aware of numerous complications in setting up his or her new entity. First, entities come in a number of different flavors: C corporations to S Corporations to the LLC (limited liability company) to the LLP (limited liability...

Charitable Giving Options

Charitable Giving Options This article explores some basic charitable gifting techniques and how those techniques can be employed in a sophisticated manner to help get the biggest bang for your buck. Many of us find value in contributing our hard-earned cash or assets to support the organizations or causes that inspire us. 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...

The Use of the Professional in your Estate Plan

The Use of the Professional 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...

Non-Compete Agreements

Non-Compete Agreements Business owners often know they have a product, process, or relationship that does or will provide profitability. They work hard to refine and leverage those key components of the business. But, they often fail to protect the very thing that makes them successful through the use of a non-compete agreement. Business owners often know they have a product, process, or relationship that does or will provide profitability. They work hard to refine and leverage those key components of the...

Distinguishing the Revocable Living Trust from the Will-Based Estate Plan

Distinguishing the Revocable Living Trust from the Will-Based Estate Plan You’ve likely heard finance experts say it. In fact Suze Orman wrote about it in the July issue of the Costco Connection (2015). It is this piece of estate planning wisdom: “a revocable living trust is a document all families should have.” Is this true? Do you need a revocable living trust here in Washington State? The two primary methods to pass property to your heirs are the Will and the...

Preparing your Business for Sale

Preparing your Business for Sale At some point, the lucky entrepreneur is able to realize the fruits of her success and ride off into the sunset after the momentous occasion of having sold her business. But, the path to the sale is a complicated one. Preparation is essential. Too often, the seller pencils out a deal to sell her business with a prospective purchaser without ever getting her metaphorical house in order. Then, when the seller goes to the lawyer...