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JK Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning, 3rd Edition



JK Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning, 3rd Edition

Stewart H. Welch III, Harold I. Apolinsky, Craig M. Stephens

ISBN: 978-0-470-53569-1 December 2009 304 Pages

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A complete guide to planning an estate under today's tax rules

When it comes to your estate-no matter how big or small it may be-you shouldn't leave anything to chance. Proper planning is necessary to protect both your assets and your heirs. Experts Stewart Welch III, Harold Apolinsky, and Craig Stephens know this better than anyone else, and in the Third Edition of J.K. Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning, they offer valuable advice and solid strategies to help you plan your estate under today's tax rules. Packed with up-to-the-minute facts, this practical resource covers essential issues; including how new legislation will impact inheritances and trusts, the do's and don't of gifting, retirement planning, and much more.

  • Reflects the most recent changes in tax laws as applicable to estate taxation
  • Offers useful planning with regard to trusts, charitable contributions, life insurance, and wills
  • Outlines the best ways to preserve your wealth through proper planning strategies

Filled with in-depth insights and expert advice, this book will show you how to efficiently arrange your estate today so that you can leave more to those you care about tomorrow.



1. Congress Plays ‘The Guessing Game’ with the Estate Tax Laws.

Cautionary Note.

Retirement Savings and Pension Reform.

Marginal Tax Rates.

Education Funding Incentives.

Business and Corporate Tax Relief.

Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfers.

2. Estate Planning: You Need It—Here’s Why.

What Is Estate Planning?

The Benefits of Estate Planning.

The Nightmares of Poor Planning.

The Myths of Estate Planning.

Guidelines for Successful Estate Planning.

3. The Estate Tax System: How Much Are You Really Worth?

Determining Your Estate Net Worth.

Understanding the Estate Tax System.

Your Estate Tax Picture.

Your Future Estate.

Overview of Estate Planning Strategies.

4. Investment Strategies for Maximizing Estate Growth.

Growth Strategy with a Safety Net.

Prioritizing Your Investment Dollars.

Retirement Planning: Choosing the Best Investment Environments.

Some Final Thoughts on Investing.

5. Retire with Dignity: How Much Is Enough?

Your Retirement Requirements.

6. You Don’t Have a Will? Big Trouble!

Property Transfers at Death.

Transfers via Probate.

Direct Transfers by Title.

Other Methods of Property Ownership.

Choosing the Best Methods of Ownership.

Setting Estate Planning Goals.

7. Where There’s a Will, There’s Your Way!

What Is a Will?

Types of Wills.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wills.

Intelligent Decisions Concerning Your Will’s Basic Provisions.

Executing Your Will.

Where to Store Your Will.

Other Important Documents.

Working with Your Attorney.

When to Review Your Estate Plan.

8. Using Trusts in Your Estate Plan.

The Credit Shelter Trust Will.


Marital Trusts.

Spendthrift Trust.

Standby Trust.

Other Trusts.

9. Understanding the Living Trust.

Advantages of Living Trusts.

Disadvantages of Living Trusts.

How a Living Trust Operates.

Transferring Property into Your Living Trust.

Types of Property Likely to Be Transferred.

Living Trust Myths.

Transacting Business with Your Trust.

10. Using Insurance in Your Estate Plan.

Life Insurance.

Using Life Insurance to Replace Income.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

What Type of Life Insurance Is Best for You?

Insurance on a Homemaker.

Insurance on Adult Children.

How to Get the Best Deal on Term Life Insurance.

Insurance Warnings!

Using Life Insurance for Estate Liquidity.

How Much Is Enough?

What Type of Life Insurance Is Best for Estate Liquidity?

The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.

Getting Your Life Insurance into Your Trust.

Using Life Insurance to Leverage Your Estate.

About Your Cash Values.

Long-Term Care Insurance.

11. Smart Strategies for Gifting Assets to Family Members.

The Annual Gift Tax Exclusion.

Unintended Gifts.

Filing a Gift Tax Return.

The Lifetime Applicable Exclusion Amount.

Outright Gifts.

When the Donee Is a Minor.

Other Tax-Free Gifts.

Family Gifts Utilizing Trusts.

Grantor Retained Annuity Trust.

Grantor Retained Unitrust.

Qualified Personal Residence Trust.

Taking Advantage of Generation Skipping Transfers.

Sales to Family Members.

Loans to Family Members.

12. Strategic Planning with Charities.

Outright Gifts to Charities.

Testamentary Gifts to Charities.

Gifts Using Charitable Trusts.

Using Your Charitable Trust for Retirement Planning.

The Private Foundation.

13. Family Limited Partnerships.

General Structure of the Family Limited Partnership.

Family Limited Partnership Rules.

14. Succession Planning for the Family Business or Farm.

Special Estate Tax Benefits for Farmers and Closely Held Business Owners.

Valuing Your Business or Farm.

Succession or Sale?

Succession Planning: Keeping the Family Business in the Family.

Maximizing Your Business’s Value through a Sale.

Structuring Your Buy-Sell Agreement.

Types of Buy-Sell Agreements.

Funding the Buy-Sell Agreement.

One Final Strategy—the Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

15. Asset Protection Strategies.

The Concept of Fraudulent Transfers.

A Word about Jointly Held Property.

Retirement Plans.

Life Insurance.

Using Trusts to Protect Assets.

Using Limited Liability Entities to Protect Assets.

Use of Multiple Limited Liability Entities.

Foreign Asset Protection Trusts.

Domestic Asset Protection Trusts.

Epilogue—Dealing with Parents and Their Money.

Appendix A—Professional Advisors.

Appendix B—Estate Planning Terms.