Nicholas A. Juhle, CFA®

Vice President, Director of Research

Viewpoints

The Yield Curve Inverted…What Now?

The Yield Curve Inverted…What Now? On Friday last week, the U.S. treasury yield curve inverted. Weak economic data out of Europe spurred heavy demand for bonds, pressuring the 10-year yield to 2.44%, its lowest level in over a year and about a basis point lower than the 3-month T-bill yield. This is significant because a […]

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George F. Bearup, J.D.

Senior Trust Advisor

Viewpoints

Basis Planning: Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion

Considerable time these days is spent identifying ways to include the value of trust assets in the settlor’s gross estate in order to obtain an income tax basis adjustment to those assets. But the settlor or beneficiary’s death is a condition to this planning strategy. What if capital gain exclusion could be obtained while the […]

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George F. Bearup, J.D.

Senior Trust Advisor

Viewpoints

Disclaiming to Reach a Higher Basis

Disclaiming an interest in property has always been a way to add flexibility to an estate plan. By exercising of a timely qualified disclaimer, the disclaimant effectively moves assets to another individual, or to a trust, without incurring any gift tax. Consequently, disclaimer planning takes center-stage in many estate plans these days by spouses to […]

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Nicholas A. Juhle, CFA®

Vice President, Director of Research

Viewpoints

Greenleaf Trust Research: Dems take the House, GOP holds the Senate

In last month’s Perspectives newsletter, we detailed expectations, as well as probable and possible outcomes heading into midterm elections. The article: “Democrats or Republicans…Who Will Ace the Midterms” is available here for your reference. Midterm Outcomes Aligned with Expectations Yesterday, Americans cast ballots to elect members for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives […]

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George F. Bearup, J.D.

Senior Trust Advisor

Viewpoints

Remainder Purchase Marital Trust Strategy

A couple of months ago I wrote about the possible use of spousal lifetime access trusts (SLATs) as a way for a married couple to exploit the recent $5 million increase in their respective federal gift tax exemption amount, while still retaining access to the cash flow generated by those transferred assets. Yet another technique […]

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George F. Bearup, J.D.

Senior Trust Advisor

Viewpoints

July 23, 2018

‘Enhanced’ Defined Dollar Value Formula Transfers

The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act provides more incentives for individuals to gift assets either to their family members or to dynasty-type irrevocable trusts. The temporary increase in the applicable transfer tax exemption amount by $5.6 million per individual encourages the wealthy to consider making large gifts when no federal gift tax will be […]

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Nicholas A. Juhle, CFA®

Vice President, Director of Research

Viewpoints

On Tariffs and Trade Policies

The first quarter of 2018 was exciting if nothing else. Stock market strength in January was followed by a correction in February sparked by inflation concerns and monetary policy uncertainties. Stocks rebounded into March until tariff announcements from the White House and speculation over a possible trade war pushed markets lower again. Evolving U.S. trade […]

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George F. Bearup, J.D.

Senior Trust Advisor

Viewpoints

Charitable Remainder Trusts: An Old Tool to Fix A New Problem

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (the 2017 Tax Act) provided several surprises, although I am not sure that it actually delivered that much simplification to a complex tax code as was promised. One big surprise was to make alimony or spousal support no longer tax deductible by the payer or taxable to the recipient. […]

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George F. Bearup, J.D.

Senior Trust Advisor

Viewpoints

Community Property Agreements and Trusts: Old and New Planning Tools

Structuring an estate to obtain an income tax basis ‘step-up’ upon the death of a client continues to be a significant goal of many estate plans. New planning strategies try to exploit old estate tax rules to intentionally cause an asset to be included in a decedent’s taxable estate. This approach attempts to create rights […]

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George F. Bearup, J.D.

Senior Trust Advisor

Viewpoints

Trust Modifications: The Material Purpose Limitation

Modern trust statutes provide several ways in which to modify an irrevocable trust. For example, in Michigan an irrevocable trust can be decanted to move its assets to a new trust that is created by the trustee. MCL 700.7820a. Additionally, Michigan’s version of the Uniform Trust Code also offers several other procedures that can be […]

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