Estates & Trusts Blog



During the lifetimes of most married couples, especially when a child is involved, mutual estate planning is done so as to ensure that if one spouse passes away, the deceased spouse’s assets pass to the surviving spouse.  Generally speaking, this is a sound planning strategy; unfortunately, if a marriage ends in divorce, each person will effectively have to update and/or revise their respective estate planning strategies.

Updating Planning Documents


President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Act) into law on December 22, 2017, extensively modifying U.S. taxation laws for individuals and business. Among other things, the Act increases the applicable exclusion amount of the Federal estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax from $5 million per individual, indexed annually for inflation, to $10 million in 2018 (the inflation adjusted exemption amount is expected to be approximately $11.2 million or $22.4 million for married couples).


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law on December 22, 2017, represents the most significant change to the U.S. Tax Code in more than three decades.  Among the changes is an increase of the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption limits for the years 2018 through 2025.


As we enter the new year, the number of Americans who rely on electronic devices and online accounts in their everyday life has never been higher, and it continues to rise! Many of us own assets that exist only in electronic form or are stored on electronic devices, including online banking accounts and social media accounts. Consequently, we have to ask ourselves - what happens if we can’t access our accounts because we are incapacitated, or if we die?


On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law a tax bill with sweeping legislative tax reform, with one such change limiting the deduction for property and all other state and local taxes to a maximum of $10,000.


One of the last things a young couple is thinking about when starting a family is planning for their loved ones in the event of a tragedy.  Since planning for one’s disability or death is not a topic many people are comfortable discussing, they tend to put off their estate planning.  Many times this results in individuals never implementing a proper estate plan.  Families with young children must consider who will act as a guardian for their minor children in the event both parents unexpectedly pass away.  This can be a very difficult decision for parents, as it is impossible to imagine an


The IRS has announced the retirement plan contribution limits for 2018.  Highlighted below are some of those limits.  For more detailed guidance, please see IRS Notice 2017-64.


When discussing estate planning, especially in the context of planning for one’s retirement, it is important to address health-related issues.