Society Connections E-Newsletter
Another SFSP member benefit of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter
As I was reading through emails over the past few weeks I stumbled upon a blog referencing a new affliction: Post-Traumatic Gift Disorder, or perhaps more aptly named, Donor’s Remorse… making a BIG gift, then fretting over whether it was the right thing to do! For those who have worked with high net worth clients we have been struggling with the uncertainty of the estate tax laws for several years, encouraging clients to do the necessary planning to avoid what was possible, losing the opportunity to make meaningful and substantial tax free gifts to next generations. Then Congress had to ruin our day and make the gift/estate exemptions permanent! Now law firms are shedding their estates departments, insurance companies are slicing their advance planning legal staff and large life insurance policies are a thing of the past! Not so fast! We now have ATRA of 2012 and the PPACA! Congress’ actions will impact us and our clients in both favorable and unfavorable ways, as they always seem to do. And, we too will adapt and change to meet these new challenges.
Even if the initial motivation for that BIG gift was tax savings, in making the recommendation, if the planning was sound, reasonable, suitable and properly executed, the non-tax benefits of the decision should still support it. There should be no remorse, but instead comfort in knowing the right choice was made. And, if appropriate planning hadn’t been done, the potential carnage left behind for the survivors could turn the grieving to anger and broken family and business relationships.
A case in point is a conversation I had with a neighbor...actually with her visiting grandson who I’ve known since he was a toddler. It seems she has no real assets to speak of short of a small retirement plan and her house. She is not in very good health and the potential for assisted or more significant care is looming. He was shocked at the cost and the realization that he and other family members could not physically or financially afford to care for her. After further discussion I discovered she signed the house over to him, and she is still living there, and he was unaware of what the rules were as it pertained to Medicaid eligibility and Pennsylvania laws of financial responsibility. In addition, the basis of the house is very low and would result in a substantial capital gain when sold by the son at a later date. Needless to say, I referred him to competent elder law counsel to help his family properly sort things out.
We still have an obligation to our family, friends and clients, regardless of their financial status, to encourage them to be thoughtful and diligent in making sure their estate objectives are carried out in the “right” manner, tax efficiently, that their businesses can continue to provide for the family, the employees and the customers, there is sufficient liquidity to meet outstanding obligations and provide a safety net of security, and to create financial independence for heirs allowing them to make appropriate economic choices. The truth is nothing is permanent except death. Objectives, needs and desires during one’s lifetime will shift with changing family, business and financial circumstances and the planning can be adjusted accordingly.
Your chapter leadership has put together some excellent educational programing; and, along with the educational opportunities and resources offered through SFSP national – the webinars, Journal, brown bag lunches and the Forum and Clinic, our goal is to provide members with the necessary information you need to assist your clients. Take advantage of what the Society has to offer and consider giving back by supporting your colleagues by participating in your chapter committees and activities. Onward Ho!
Glen Coral, CLU, ChFC
Chairman, Society Connections Committee
Vice Chairman, Membership Committee
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Connections to Industry
• How to Double the Size of Your Business This Year
• Middle Class Americans Not Prepared for LTC Events
• The Value of Auditing Your Pharmacy Benefit Manager
• PPACA and ATRA of 2012: The New World of Tax Planning
To read more on this topic, please click HERE.
• Unique Investors: Injured and At Risk
To read more on this topic, please click HERE.
• AG 38 and Low Interest Rates Influence Life Product Pricing
** To read each article, please click HERE.
Connections eNewsletter Editions:
*Winter 2012 - 2013
Winter 2011 - 2012
Excellence in Chapter Achievement
2008 - 2011
Greater Philadelphia Chapter