Estate Planning (--> Wiki)

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Barry Barnitz
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Estate Planning (--> Wiki)

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An expanded version of this page can be found on The Bogleheads Wiki.

(Please add contributions to this topic in the Suggestions to The Librarians Topics Link)

Estate Planning is a complex, but essential component, to a comprehensive financial plan. Suffice it to say, that this area of financial planning requires professional assistance. Still, knowledge is power.

Definitions of Estate Planning Terminology

General Terms

Estate Planning
Taxable Estate
Estate Tax
Gift Tax
Marital Deduction
Power of Attorney
Living Will

The Parties Involved


Wills and Probate

Pour Over Will
Tranfer on Death (ToD)


Revocable Trust
Inter Vivos Trust
Testamentary Trust
Credit Shelter Trust (CST)
Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust (QTIP)
Irrevocable Trust
Crummey Power
Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
Generation-Skipping Trust
Charitable Remainder Trust
Charitable Lead Trust
Family Limited Partnership
Qualified Disclaimer

Introductory Materials on Estate Planning

1. Vanguard has a Plain Talk Publication that serves as an introduction to this topic:
link: Plan Your Estate

2. Estate Planning lawyer and CFP Michael T. Palermo presents his adult education class course in estate planning at:
link: Crash Course in Wills & Trusts

3. CCH provides an estate planning module on their website:
link: Estate Planning

The Internal Revenue Service has a great deal to say about the transfer of assets:

1. Estate Tax Rates and Exemptions
2. Tax Law Changes for Gifts and Estates and Trusts
3. Pub 950: Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes
4. Pub 559: Survivors, Executors, and Administrators

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Last edited by Barry Barnitz on Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:57 am, edited 8 times in total.
Additional administrative tasks: Financial Page blog; finiki the Canadian wiki; The Bogle Center for Financial Literacy site; La Guía Bogleheads® España site.
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Topic Author
Barry Barnitz
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Posts: 3336
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Papers and Links:

Post by Barry Barnitz »


1. Estate Planning for Persons with Less Than $5 Million by Blattmachr, Jonathan G., Slade, Georgiana J. and Crawford, Bridget J (March 2007)
Financial concerns may preclude people of modest wealth (defined for purposes of this article as those having a net worth between $1 million and $5 million) from making significant lifetime transfers to achieve estate planning goals. Yet lifetime transfers are among the most effective ways to reduce estate taxes. Individuals of modest wealth may experience a tension between the desire to take advantage of opportunities to reduce taxes and protect assets from other claims which may arise, on the one hand, and the need to preserve an adequate base of wealth to ensure the maintenance of a current standard of living, on the other. The advisor to these individuals carefully should consider what estate planning steps are most appropriate and what level of transfers, if any, the individual reasonably can afford to make. This article details and evaluates eleven strategies that may apply to clients in the modest wealth category: (1) inter vivos transfers of life insurance and other non-income producing assets; (2) estate building and income tax sheltering with life insurance; (3) qualified personal residence trusts; (4) effective use of annual exclusions; (5) self-settled trusts; (6) potential use of the gift tax exemption and the GST exemption; (7) assessing income tax-free states; [8] using a charitable remainder trust to build wealth and generate income; (9) medical care and tuition payments; (10) limited liability entities for asset protection and tax planning; and (11) special care in handling interests in qualified plans, IRAs and other IRD.
2. Taxes, Estate Planning and Financial Theory: New Insights and Perspectives by Dammon, Robert M., Spatt, Chester S. and Zhang, Harold H (March 15, 2004)
We examine how financial theory and economic principles offer guidance and predictions about the organization of investments and asset allocation decisions given the structure of taxes in estate - planning situations. We provide insight about many of the conventional approaches to estate planning and suggest how these strategies can be enhanced. For example, we show that the advantage of the reset provision by which the investor's capital gains tax bases are adjusted to the market value at the time of death is greater in the presence of individual rather than joint ownership of assets, provided that at the first death of one of the joint owners the basis is reset to an average of the date of death value and the survivor's original cost. We analyze asset location and distribution policies in the context of trusts that are outside of the taxable estate of its principal beneficiary as well as direct funds owned by the beneficiary, highlighting the interaction between estate taxation and the reset of the capital gains tax basis at death. We compare the optimal decisions for traditional tax-deferred accounts and after-tax ("Roth") IRAs. Finally, we also examine the value and importance of borrowing in various contexts in estate planning.
3. Using Charitable Planned Gifts in Estate Planning to Maximize Tax-Efficient Results by Mary C. Hester (2006)
Planned giving—sometimes referred to as deferred giving—offers alternatives for those who would like to make a charitable gift during life but wish to retain the income or use of the property until death or for a term of years. A comparison of the available options, both as to features and potential results—is the only way to achieve the best tax results for the donor and the donor's family.
Additional administrative tasks: Financial Page blog; finiki the Canadian wiki; The Bogle Center for Financial Literacy site; La Guía Bogleheads® España site.