Penning Group Blog

The Penning Group blog is written and edited by the advisors and attorneys of The Penning Group, providing practical business, personal, and legal information. To view blog posts by category, choose a topic area from the sidebar menu.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Importance of “Trust Funding

One of the significant benefits of utilizing a living trust as part of one’s estate plan is to avoid the necessity of a surviving spouse or heirs from having to probate your assets with a probate court after your death. However, this benefit is not achieved by simply drafting and signing a living trust. The title to assets actually has to be transferred from an individual and/or their spouse to the trust during their lifetime in order to achieve the goal of avoiding probate.

Trust Funding for Basic Joint and Individual Trusts

I...

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In my practice, I oftentimes meet with clients who are “apologetic” for taking my time given their perception that they “… really don’t have that much [in assets]” but have come to see me based on the encouragement from friends or relatives. 

All Adults 18 Years and Older Need Planning

The truth is that everyone age 18 or older has estate planning needs. Estate planning is not solely based on how much a person is worth. While a person’s net worth is relevant in the planning process, especially individuals with significant assets, the...

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sometimes I’m asked if I’m concerned that changes to federal estate tax law will result in there being less work for me to do in my practice. I reply that I’m not concerned and that the changes to the federal estate tax law just mean that I’ll be dismantling all the planning during the second half of my career that I spent the first half of my career creating for clients.

That, of course, is not a serious response, but there is an element of truth in it. Changes in federal estate tax law have resulted in a need for individuals to consider their past planning and whether changes should be made to that planning in light of visions in the new law.

Past Strategy...

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This week’s article, “Are Your Beneficiary Designations Current?” is the first in a series of four articles discussing key information on estate planning matters. The following articles will also be included in this series:

                Part 2: Updated Planning for Clients with Married Separate Trusts

                Part 3: Basic Estate Planning for Single Adults and Simple Estates

     ...

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Over the last several weeks I have written articles concerning various topics of cottage law – succession planning, charitable giving, tax planning and the effect of the new federal estate and gift tax law. As we approach the end of the year I will focus my thoughts and articles on estate planning and related topics that you may find helpful as you reflect on this past year and look forward to the future.

I tell my clients that planning “in time” is not necessarily planning “on time.” This rule applies to not only estate planning, but the cottage plans and business succession plans that I am involved in for families as well. I’d like to share a brief story that...

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