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.

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...

Read More...
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

     ...

Read More...
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...

Read More...
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

 

I recently read an article by an attorney who expressed his frustration with clients or potential clients asking him, “What will x or y cost me?” The attorney accurately pointed out that the simple question of what will a legal service cost is not always simple to answer. He compared that question to someone asking a doctor who knows nothing about the person’s medical history or has never examined the person a question like, “Doctor, I’m sick. I don’t know how sick, or what my options are, but how much will you charge to make me better?” 

Any attorney, financial advisor, paralegal, or do-it-yourself computer/online service that offers “one-price-...

Read More...
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Now that Halloween has come and gone and the end of the year is on the horizon, the time is here to plan your short- and long-term strategies for charitable giving.

Depending on who you listen to, the overall economy is still sluggish; however, many individuals still realized significant stock market gains based on bullish market conditions during the course of 2013. Individuals who have enjoyed success in the market this year have realized gains that will increase their gross income, triggering higher taxes.

At the same time, many charitable organizations have been squeezed and were subject to further setbacks when the federal government shutdown stopped fund-raising...

Read More...