Stites on Estates

Category Archives: Asset Protection

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Design Factors for Your Family’s Trust

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Life Cycle Estate and Financial Planning, Trust Administration
These are interesting years in estate planning for families in the Upper Middle and Lower Upper Classes. As a high estate tax exemption has reduced the tax-driven imperatives for using trusts to hold inheritances, non-tax applications of trusts come to the fore. As non-tax issues in trust design assume greater relative importance, what factors should… Continue Reading

Using an LLC to Maintain Privacy When Buying Residential Property

Posted in Asset Protection, Business Planning, Estate Planning
Last week, Business First of Louisville published a report and slideshow on the top 25 largest residential real estate transactions of the first quarter of 2015 in Jefferson County. It might surprise you to know that a home bought for $646,000 was pricey enough to make the first quarter slideshow. The most expensive home on… Continue Reading

The Advantages of Tennessee Trusts: Investment Services Act Trusts

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning
 Hello to everyone reading Stites on Estates.  I recently joined Stites & Harbison as an estate planning attorney practicing in both Tennessee and Georgia.  My inaugural blog post discusses Tennessee Investment Services Act trusts. Tennessee is often at the cutting edge of trust law, as evidenced by its recent passage of laws allowing for the… Continue Reading

Noncompetition Agreements and Your Career: On the Beach When You Don’t Want to Be

Posted in Asset Protection, Business Planning, Life Cycle Estate and Financial Planning
Noncompetition agreements are a common fact of life for many of the mid- and senior-level executives I represent in estate planning, and for business owner clients with employees. Because noncompetes are such important features of the life cycle estate and financial planning landscape, I sat down with my colleague Rebecca Weis to learn more about… Continue Reading

Business Startup Issues That May Find You – Even if You Don’t Go Looking For Them

Posted in Asset Protection, Business Planning, Life Cycle Estate and Financial Planning
In my practice, I have found that a majority of my clients who create significant wealth do so through ownership of a private business or a concentrated stock position in a publicly traded company. What that means for you is that if you haven’t yet started a business or taken an ownership position in one,… Continue Reading

Should You Get a Prenuptial Agreement?

Posted in Asset Protection, Blended Families, Estate Planning, Life Cycle Estate and Financial Planning
Whether or not to get a prenuptial agreement before getting married isn’t an easy decision. The advisability of a prenup turns in large part on whether the default law that will govern the marriage if it ends by death or divorce is agreeable. If you can live with the default rules, a prenup might not… Continue Reading

Adapt an Irrevocable Trust to a New Family Situation With Decanting

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Trust Administration
It’s not uncommon for an old irrevocable trust to no longer fit a family’s circumstances, for the simple reason that Yogi Berra was right when he noted that “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” Trusts provide advantages, including protection from creditors, divorce, or spendthrift behavior. To obtain these advantages, trusts place restrictions… Continue Reading

Homestead Planning for Your Florida Property

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Florida Estate Planning, Retirement Planning
Florida offers many advantages as a retirement haven compared to northern states (including no state income taxes and better weather). Another Florida feature (lesser-known but still quite important) is its homestead laws. “Homestead” can be a deceptively complex issue in snowbirds’ estate and tax planning when they finally become Florida residents, including asset protection, property tax savings, and restrictions on… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Denies Creditor Protection for Inherited IRAs

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning
Earlier this year, in Clark v. Rameker, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split and delivered bad news for debtors, finding that a debtor’s inherited IRA was includible in her bankruptcy estate. Clark is an important decision because it clarifies that IRA assets inherited by adult children or other beneficiaries are… Continue Reading

Using a Funded Revocable Trust for Wealth Preservation in Old Age

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning
The popular financial press is pretty crowded, just like the blogosphere.  Yet every once in a while, an article says something pretty simple that’s also really important, something that connects strongly with issues we see time and again in our practice. Last week, Howard Gold published that sort of piece on Marketwatch.com: “The biggest retirement… Continue Reading

Reasons to Use a Life Insurance Trust, or Keep the One You Already Have

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Estate Tax Planning, Insurance, Life Insurance
A decade ago, when the estate tax exemption was much lower, the irrevocable life insurance trust (or “ILIT”) was a component of many (or even most) tax-aware estate plans. It was common for physicians, attorneys, architects, engineers, and corporate executives to have insurance trusts, without necessarily knowing why that was so.  Reassured by their attorneys… Continue Reading

Using an LLC to Protect Assets for an Aging Parent

Posted in Asset Protection, Business Planning, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning
Willie Sutton is famous for allegedly answering a question about why he robbed banks with the brilliant retort: “Because that’s where the money is.” We can’t help but think of Sutton when we consider how commonly older, richer people become targets for economic exploitation.  Potential exploiters are many: domestic help, caregivers, economically dependent children, profligate spouses,… Continue Reading

Elective share statutes – hidden dangers for blended families – part 3: solutions

Posted in Asset Protection, Blended Families, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning
We hope this mini-series on the knotty estate planning issues presenting in the (fictional) later lives of the Drapers convinced you that blended families often face much greater risks to relationships, harmony, and the orderly flow of wealth than they might first realize. Elective share statutes are one of the main unrealized dangers. In part… Continue Reading

What a single-member LLC can and can’t do to protect your rental property or business

Posted in Asset Protection, Business Planning
It’s become very common for entrepreneurs, landlords, and others to use single member LLCs in their business planning.  The single-member LLC offers some advantages of a sole proprietorship, including flexibility and a single level of income taxation.  Unlike a sole proprietorship, it keeps the business in a neater “package” that can be easier to sell… Continue Reading

Tenancy by the entirety: a simple, important tool to protect your home from creditors

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning
When a deal goes bad for a professional, entrepreneur, or business owner, it raises a concern that creditors may be able to take their home.  But many Kentucky residents may already have protected that asset just by owning it with a spouse. In many instances, property owned by a husband and wife in a tenancy… Continue Reading