TIP 1 Your Digital Estate
Leonard Berstein’s memoir “Blue Ink” is still trapped in electronic oblivion, either encrypted or password-protected on his personal computer when he died in 1990. As important as it is to inventory your physical assets when it comes to estate planning, don’t overlook taking care of your digital assets as well. Creating your own digital estate plan can help avoid surprises and headaches for your heirs — contact us to learn more.
TIP 2 Travel Trusts
At the height of summer, minds often turn to travel. Some family patriarchs and matriarchs make a point to ensure that everyone in the family can get together, regardless of their financial status. Did you know that dream can persist in the form of a trust?
Trusts are a multi-faceted financial Swiss army knife for the Grantor or creator, empowering the trustee to fulfill their explicit instructions with the financial resources of the trust. Those instructions can be simple, or more complex. One of those instructions may be to provide plane tickets or hotel rooms every year to the beneficiaries for the family reunion. This designated purpose for the funds can create a meaningful impression and remembrance each year compared to just paying down ever increasing living expenses.
TIP 3 Michael Jackson Estate Valuation
The Tax Court has rendered its decision on the value of Michael Jackson’s estate, nearly 12 years after Jackson’s death in 2009. It was complicated – the IRS wanted to value the legacy, holdings, and copyrights for almost half a billion dollars, and the estate contended that it was worth less the three million. Talk about a difference of opinion!
The Tax Court sided with the estate on some points, and with the IRS on some points, and ended up with a valuation about $111.5 million. The IRS wanted a penalty tax for the valuation shortfalls, since the final valuation still ended up as being more than 30 times what was suggested on the estate tax return. The court said no to the penalty, since the estate had relied on experts and been acting in good faith.
Working with professionals can have hidden benefits and prevent pitfalls, especially when doing valuations for substantial charitable donations.
TIP 4 Inflation Concerns
Inflation has been a trending keyword in Google searches in 2021. Although those searches may have peaked in May, they are still above average as we experience alarming price shocks in various sectors of the economy. Inflation should always be a concern for consumers, employers, and investors. It can mean the dollar doesn’t go as far in what it can buy, who employers can recruit, and how investors can build assets over time.
Read about whether the recent inflation concerns may be transitory or permanent, and additional factors to consider if we’re coming up to a period of high inflation in our blog, “Inflation Worries Keeping You Awake?”