Friday, September 25, 2020

New Video: Generation Spanning Trusts

Watch the latest video below by Stuart R. Morris, Esq., CPA, B.C.S., founding partner of Morris Law Group about a unique estate planning technique called a Generation Spanning Trust. For more information about Generation Spanning Trusts or to schedule a consultation with an attorney, visit, email or call (561) 750-3850

Doing All Your Estate Planning Online?

By Carol K. G. Lutz, LL.M., Law Clerk, Morris Law Group

Have you seen websites offering end-of-life planning online? These sites purport to offer estate planning and advance directive documents from the comfort of your home without having to pay attorney prices to get your affairs in order.

Some of these websites also offer online grief counseling and the ability to send condolence packages when people cannot physically be there for each other in the wake of the current pandemic. While these last two features are excellent ideas for a world that has to stay apart while trying to stay together, planning your estate is not as simple as filling out an online questionnaire. By choosing an online platform, you are not getting all of the sophisticated, personalized options an experienced estate planning firm can provide you with.

These websites might be acceptable for simple estate matters or very young adults without heirs or assets, but for anyone with significant assets or complex needs, an online form will not go far enough to ensure your wishes are met and your potential taxes are minimized. Oversimplifying can lead to all sorts of problems for the administration of your wishes. For instance, something as simple as having one too few witnesses when signing a document could invalidate your entire estate plan and have your assets go to people you may not want to receive them, or cost you significantly more in taxes.

The Morris Law Group Difference

At Morris Law Group, our team of board-certified and expert attorneys have more than 150 years of combined estate planning and tax planning experience.

We regularly deal with complicated estate plans for our affluent and business owner clients, and our attorneys have a wide array of specialties, including wills, trusts and estates, asset preservationprobate and trust administrationspecial needs planningbusiness structuring and succession planninginternational tax planning, and charitable planning.

Additionally, we offer various kinds of trusts, including life insurance, credit shelter, special needs, and domestic asset protection trusts that will protect your assets and minimize estate taxes. At Morris Law Group, we can customize your estate plan to meet your specific goals and needs.

Every plan we design shares the common objective of efficiently transferring assets to chosen beneficiaries in the most protected manner and with the least possible tax impact. This is accomplished through our unique process, the Wealth Preservation Solution.SM 

Another unique option we offer is what we call our GPS or Generational Planning Solutions program, where we can review your assets, make changes if your family situation changes due to births, deaths, marriages, etc., ensuring your legacy continues for multiple generations.

While it is great that the internet is trying to make estate planning more easily accessible for everyone during such unprecedented times, as all people need an estate plan, an online form cannot account for all the complexities of your individual situation and could cost you and your loved ones even more in taxes and time spent correcting any mistakes.

Se Habla Espanol

Our team can meet with you at your convenience in person, over the phone or by video conference. In addition, we now offer consultations in Spanish as well as English. For more information about how Morris Law Group can assist you with your estate planning, please contact us or call (561) 750-3850.  

How Historic Low Interest Rates Can Work in Your Favor

By Carol K. G. Lutz, LL.M., Law Clerk, Morris Law Group

The 7520 rate in September 2020 is the lowest rate seen historically, a mere 0.4%. Just a few months ago in February, it was 2.2%. Just as we said back in March that such low rates made it the perfect time to create charitable lead annuity trusts (CLATs) and grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), now it is even more opportune than ever before. For comparison, the 7520 rate in February of 1995 was 9.6% and it was 11% in June 1990. May of 1989 had the highest rate in modern history of 11.6%. 

For illustration, forming a 20-year CLAT right now with $1 million with a payout of 5.23%, assuming an 8% growth rate, would result in growth of over $2.3 million, a total payout of $1,042,600 for charity and a remainder of $2,275,385 for your descendants transfer-tax free. Click here to read more about the benefits of the current low-rate environment or watch an important video about it by Stuart R. Morris, Esq., CPA, B.C.S. 

Forming a 10-year GRAT using the same numbers and growth assumptions results in growth of $704,883 with the grantor getting an additional $22,190 from his or her initial investment and passing $682,754 transfer tax free to descendants.

With the annual growth rate, in this example assumed to be 8%, being so much larger than the 7520 rate, this maximizes the amount of money that will be passed to descendants transfer-tax free. The difference in the annual growth rate and the 7520 rate is what gets passed to descendants without a transfer tax.

Put simply, with the 7520 rate being at a historical low, proper use of CLATs and GRATs may result in huge tax savings.

For more information about trust-based estate planning, please contact Morris Law Group or call us at (561) 750-3850.