5 Times you don’t need to give out your Social Security Number

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5 times you don’t need to give out your Social Security number

How to Mess Up Your Plan

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How to Mess Up Your Plan

We talk a lot about good planning and how to do it, but sometimes it helps to learn lessons from the mistakes of others, and try not to fall into the same traps. History can be a great teacher, and those of us in the business hear lots of […]

Portability: Weird and Wonderful

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Portability: Weird and Wonderful


The simplicity and complexity of portability often creates unintended consequences. Let’s discuss how to steer clear of traps for the unwary and anticipate the credit to come as we seek to understand the nuances of one of the newest features of the estate tax law. Optimizing the use of the Deceased Spousal […]

The Number One Mistake People Make in Their Estate Plan

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There are a lot of things about estate planning that are complex, but the number one mistake people make is actually quite simple. Perhaps so simple that it is overlooked. It is coordinating the title of assets with the plan. Over years of meeting with clients, this was the consistent theme and over years of […]

Powers Of Appointment: Six Rules to Encode or Decode Every Trust

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Powers of Appointment are the secret ingredient to the major advantages of irrevocable trusts and the formula that makes them work, yet the code does not do a good job of quantifying them, so we will do it for them. This knowledge makes it easier to decode documents, or design them in the first place, […]

He Did WHAT?!? Ethics in the Estate Plan

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The National Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award defines ethical behavior as follows:

“The term, ethical behavior, refers to how an organization ensures that all its decisions, actions, and stakeholder interactions conform to the organization’s moral and professional principles. These principles should support all applicable laws and regulations and are the foundation for the organization’s culture and values. […]

Getting Granny’s Gold

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TRO Newsletter – August 2016

Getting Granny’s Gold

While anyone can fall for these schemes, elder financial abuse has become a big problem. The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse provides information to help avoid such abuse and spot such abuse when perpetrated on others such as family, friends, neighbors, and clients. Forms of abuse […]

TRO Newsletter – July 2016 Negate Probate: Settling an Estate using a Trust

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Probate is a hassle in many states, so trusts give us an alternative, more private manner in which to distribute the assets of a decedent. Here, we will take a chronological walk through of the estate settlement process and the critical elements of state law and document language that need to be addressed. Estates are […]

TRO Newsletters for December 1st

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TRO Newsletter, December 2015 – Client


Planning Ideas for Estates under $10 Million

Let’s face it, most people no longer owe estate tax. With an estate tax free amount of $5 million indexed for inflation, $10million for couples, less than two-tenths of one percent of Americans will owe estate tax. This brings estate planning for most people […]

Structuring and Managing ILITs

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Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs) are used primarily to purchase and/or maintain life insurance policies on the life of the settlor without causing inclusion in the settlor’s estate, while simultaneously qualifying contributions for the gift tax annual exclusion. In fact, the sole purpose of the so called Crummey power is to create a withdrawal power […]

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