Silicon Valley Estate Planning Journal

News and Articles from the Law Offices of John C. Martin

Category Archive

25 Posts in Estate Planning for Families

John C. Martin Granted Favorable IRS Private Letter Ruling on Behalf of Tax Client

Posted · Add Comment

PLR 201551008 Under current law, the executor of a Decedent’s estate must timely file Form 706 to elect portability of a deceased spouse’s unused exemption amount. The ultimate tax savings of a timely portability election can be significant, effectively doubling the available estate tax exemption amount (from about $5.4 Million to $10.8 Million). For example, suppose a […]

Three Reasons to Avoid Revocable Transfer on Death Deeds

Posted · Add Comment

Effective January 1, 2016, California AB 139 creates the new Revocable Transfer on Death Deeds (RTODDs). This  pilot program, effective until January 1, 2021, gives individuals the power to automatically transfer property on death to a named beneficiary with a simple statutory form. RTODDs are intended to allow property owners to avoid probate, and transfer property at death without […]

Passion Investing as a Spark to Your Life

Posted · Add Comment

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and over 50% of the Fortune 400’s The Richest People in America list have decided to give away their wealth for charitable pursuits. Of course, not many of us have that kind of money or are inclined to give away all we own. However, giving to charitable organizations is something that […]

Protecting Against Financial Fraud in Charitable Giving

Posted · Add Comment

Americans are very generous when it comes to charitable giving. In addition, lower earners give more proportionately than higher earners. Perhaps this is because lower earners understand how easily a family can slip into financial crisis through the loss of a job or medical expenses. The thought of “that could be me” makes people very […]

The (Un)Usefulness of a Bypass Trust and How to Avoid the Consequences If You Are Stuck With One

Posted · Add Comment

During the past several decades, estate planners recommended the use of AB Trusts for nearly every client. The use of AB Trusts was based upon the fact that the estate tax applicable exemption amount (“AEA”) was not automatically “doubled” if one was married. The AB Trust was developed to solve this problem, by providing that […]

Budgeting, Part 1: Budgeting as a Friend and not a Foe

Posted · Add Comment

Budgets do control spending behavior. However, budgets also allocate resources to the areas of highest impact or interest. When a budget is structured based on priorities and values, much of the controlling element is removed. Using budgets at work is understood and expected. A company has a limited amount of money and so must allocate […]

Strategies for Those Awkward Financial Discussions

Posted · Add Comment

There may be people close to you (spouse, parents, children) who are practicing financial behaviors that are unproductive or destructive. You want to help them get back on track, but you don’t want to come across as judgmental or condescending, or put them on the defensive. The Key Takeaways • Living within one’s means liberates […]

Who Should Be Your Successor Trustee?

Posted · Add Comment

If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as trustee so you can continue to manage your own financial affairs, but eventually someone will need to step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death.  The Successor Trustee plays an important role […]

How to Choose a Trustee

Posted · Add Comment

When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee basically does what you do right now with your financial affairs—collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell assets, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records and generally keep things organized and in […]

Providing for Your Parents in Your Estate Plan

Posted · Add Comment

If you are part of the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), you may also find that you are a member of the sandwich generation, with responsibilities to both your parents (now or in the future) and your children. This should change the way you think about estate planning—instead of the traditional approach […]

How to Leave Assets to Adult Children

Posted · Add Comment

When considering how to leave assets to adult children, the first step is to decide how much each one should receive. Most parents want to treat their children fairly, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they should receive equal shares of the estate. For example, it may be desirable to give more to a child who […]

How to Leave Assets to Minor Children

Posted · Add Comment

Every parent wants to make sure their children are provided for in the event something happens to them while the children are still minors. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives often want to leave some of their assets to young children, too. But good intentions and poor planning often have unintended results.   For example, […]

Incorporating Faith and Values in Estate Planning

Posted · Add Comment

For many, passing along religious beliefs and values to the next generation is just as important as passing along financial wealth and tangible assets. Estate planning creates many opportunities to do this, including:   * End-of-Life Care. A health care power of attorney (Advance Directive in some states) lets you name someone to make medical […]