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Last Wills and Testaments

(Republished from Vegas PBS Source Magazine; July 2013.) Although a living trust is the estate planning and testamentary vehicle of choice for most people in Southern Nevada, for those who have modest size estates—such as where there is no real estate involved, and where the only assets are small bank accounts, home furnishings and heirlooms—a will may be the better choice. A will is important, at a minimum, to designate the individual one would like to serve as executor of his or her estate, to divide the estate among the proper individuals and charities, to declare one’s heirs and make any desired...

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Wise words from Senator Mike Lee (Utah)

LEE: IRS Scandal More Than Just Partisan Fighting “The real lesson is that our massive federal government bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional, corrupt, and intolerant regardless of who is in charge.” WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee released the following statement on the IRS scandal involving the targeting of certain conservative organizations: “It would be a mistake for Republicans to view the latest IRS scandal as a typical partisan squabble between political parties.  The real lesson is that our massive federal government bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional, corrupt, and intolerant regardless of who is in charge. “The IRS is a powerful agency that can influence nearly...

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UK’s Richest People Conceal Billions in Offshore Tax Havens

It was reported yesterday by the Guardian news service located in the United Kingdom that "more than 100 of Britain's richest people have been caught hiding billions of pounds in secretive offshore havens, sparking an unprecedented global tax evasion investigation." The Guardian article included Chancellor George Osborne's warning to alleged tax evaders, and their accountants and advisers: "The message is simple: if you evade tax, we're coming after you." This is yet another example of a government cracking down on foreign ownership and investment.  Anyone moving assets to foreign locations must do so with great care to ensure laws are followed and taxes are fully...

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Estate Planning: Who Should Own The Captive Insurance Company?

From an estate planning perspective, there are a variety of ways to structure the ownership of a captive insurance company to enhance the overall tax and asset protection benefits available through §831(b) captive planning. But first, a few words on Captive Insurance Companies and Internal Revenue Code section 831(b): What is a captive insurance company? Simply put, a captive insurance company is an insurance company that is owned by one or more business owners to provide insurance for the business. Let us be clear, a captive is an insurance company, not an insurance contract or insurance product. A captive enters into insurance...

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Avoiding the Obamacare Tax (Penalty)

By now, most of us know that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts upheld “Obamacare” by ruling that the penalty imposed upon a person for failure to purchase health insurance is not a penalty, but is actually a tax. For those individuals who are self-employed or retired and do not have W-2 wages withheld, it may be possible to avoid buying insurance and also avoid paying the tax/penalty. Here’s why: The government can only collect the tax/penalty for failure to purchase health insurance from any tax refund which you have coming. So for those of us who do not have W-2...

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Uniform Principle and Income Act (UPAIA)

Unitrust Conversion.  A unitrust, or total return trust, is a trust that pays beneficiaries a fixed percentage of trust assets as opposed to paying them the income from the trust assets.  Under Nevada law, the term “income” means an annual distribution from the trust equal to not less than 3 percent and not more than 5 percent of the net fair market value of the trust’s assets as determined at the end of the calendar year by averaging, over the preceding 3 years, both the income and principal assets of the trust (trustee or beneficiary can petition the court to...

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Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA)

Trustees are to administer a trust or estate in accordance with the terms of the trust or will in spite of the provisions of UPIA.[i]  Otherwise, trustees are obligated to comply with the prudent investor rule.[ii]  The prudent investor rule consists of the trustee considering the terms, purposes, requirements for distribution and other circumstances of the trust when investing and managing trust property.  The trustee is to satisfy this standard by exercising reasonable care, skill and caution.[iii]  This standard dates back to Harvard College v. Amory, 26 Mass. (9 Pick) 446 (1830).  Trustees should “observe how men of prudence, discretion...

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Duties of a Trustee

[caption id="attachment_1566" align="alignright" width="300"] The Offices of Grant Morris Dodds[/caption] The first duty of the Trustee is to honor and Carry out the intentions of the settlor or the trust as provided for the in the trust agreement.  Almost all rules of the rules of trust law are default rules that the settlor can “alter or abrogate.”[i]  Beneficiaries of a trust can also excuse the performance of a trust when all are “capable and not misinformed” under traditional trust law.[ii]Trustee Duties.  Other duties of the Trustee are as follows: Duty of Loyalty.  Under a Duty of Loyalty, a trustee who invests and manages trust...

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