Jacob Stein's estate planning services range from preparing simple wills and durable powers of attorney, to designing and implementing comprehensive plans to transfer wealth to younger generation family members in ways that considers both personal and tax-saving goals.
He prepares wills and living trusts as the fundamental estate planning documents for clients. In those cases in which a client decides to create a living trust to avoid court-supervised probate administration, we advise clients about the transfer of assets and assist with transferring the main residence and other assets into the trust.
Many of our clients own closely held businesses that will be passed to younger generations. We assist clients in structuring the inter-generation transfer process, to allow participation by younger family members, without taking away the control of the older generation. Mr. Stein also prepares agreements to control the management and disposition of business interests during lifetime and at death, including buy-sell agreements.
In addition to the basic estate planning tools such as the living trust, Mr. Stein has extensive experience drafting and implementing:
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts. For many people, the family residence is not only a valuable asset, but may one day represent a large a large source of estate taxes. Fortunately, the tax code permits us to reduce or eliminate the estate tax attributable to the family residence by placing the residence in a (“QPRT”). You may also place one vacation home in a Qualified Vacation Home Trust. Unfortunately, the estate tax savings that we can generate from a QPRT or a QVHT decrease as you get older. QPRTs and QVHTs are excellent vehicles for younger married couples. They work less well for retirees. The younger you are, the more you will save.
- Life Insurance Trusts. Most people know that the proceeds from the receipt of life insurance are exempt from income taxes. But many people don’t know that life insurance proceeds are not exempt from estate taxes. Thus, a $1 million life insurance death benefit may wind up as a $600,000 death benefit by the time the tax collector is finished. But there is a relatively simple way to prevent this: with an irrevocable life insurance trust (“ILIT”). If you own substantial life insurance policies, an ILIT should be a necessary part of your estate plan.
- Gifts of Fractional Interests. Most people know that you can give a certain amount of cash to your children every year without subjecting yourself to gift taxes. But that is not a very efficient way to reduce your estate taxes. If you own investment real estate and/or securities, it is more efficient to place these assets in a limited liability company (previously, family limited partnerships were used), and then make gifts of “fractional” interests in the LLC to your children and/or grandchildren. You will reduce your estate taxes, with no loss of control over the underlying assets.
- Advanced Structures. We also set up many more advanced estate planning structures, like Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts and Zeroed-Out Rolling GRATs.