The Thursday Report – 12.10.15 – Happy Hanukkah from The Thursday Report!

2016 Life Insurance Risk Management Planning by E. Randolph Whitelaw

Classifying Independent Contractors and Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Part I

Eight Reasons to Consider a Corporate Trustee by Matthew Blattmachr

Seminar Spotlight: Upcoming Webinars Not to Miss!

Richard Connolly’s World – Social Security: File-and-Suspend

Humor! (or Lack Thereof!)

We welcome contributions for future Thursday Report topics. If you are interested in making a contribution as a guest writer, please email Stephanie at

This report and other Thursday Reports can be found on our website at

This year, Hanukkah runs from Sunday, December 6 to Monday, December 14.
Happy Hanukkah from all of us at The Thursday Report!

Quote of the Week

“A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. See how its own light increases
as a candle gives its flame to the other. You are such a light.”
– Moshe Davis

Moshe Davis was a rabbi and scholar of American Jewish history. He taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Hebrew University. He is credited with the creation of the academic field of America Holy Land Studies, the field of studies that focuses on the relationship between America and Israel. He is the author of books such as The Emergence of Conservative Judaism and Israel: Its Role in Civilization.

2016 Life Insurance Risk Management Planning
by E. Randolph Whitelaw


E. Randolph Whitelaw is Managing Director of Trust Asset Consultants, LLC (TAC), a Trust-Owned Life Insurance (TOLI) risk management consulting firm, and The TOLI Center, LLC (TTC), a life insurance policy administration and risk management firm. His “2016 Life Insurance Management Outlook” will be sent to clients and advisors in early January and will include the two issues discussed in the article below, as well as an overview of 5+ other issues that warrant attention in the coming year. Mr. Whitelaw can be reached at

Two risk management issues should be given priority attention by policy owners and their professional advisors: (1) the need for credible policy evaluation of all inforce Equity Indexed Universal Life (EIUL) policies purchased prior to the September 1, 2015 effective date of National Association of Insurance Commissioners Actuarial Guideline 49 (‘NAIC AG 49’), and (2) the policy lapse implications of recently announced policy rate (annual policy charges) increases by several major life insurance carriers (policy issuers).

There is a well-known policy lapse and life insurance trust insolvency crisis due to the performance monitoring inattention paid to non-guaranteed death benefit products (Universal Life, Variable Universal Life, and Equity Indexed Universal Life). These two risk management issues significantly increase the probability of policy lapse and accelerate its timing. Policies with insureds age 70 and older should be given ‘priority’ risk assessment attention.

Risk assessment should take the form of ‘dispute defensible’ actuarial evaluation methodology using an experienced fee-based third-party ‘provider.’ The post-AG 49 EIUL crediting rate should consider a 3% to 5% range and employ Monte Carlo Simulation, not a linear constant rate assumption. Credible risk management tools are readily available to avoid lapse, insolvency, and life insurance ‘dark ages’ thinking.

Concerning inforce policy ‘risk assessment and management’ intervention, policy owners and their advisors are well-advised to avoid selection of either a ‘sales’ agent or third-party performance monitoring reports. Why? In addition to the issuing carrier’s policy contract and illustrations that disclaim predictive value, the Society of Actuaries, FINRA, and professional advisor associations affirm that illustrations are inappropriate for predictive value and policy comparison determinations. No different from consumer and advisor warnings for the past 25 years, the inappropriate use of illustrations (aka “ink smudges on copier paper”) remains the problem, not the solution.

Articles that discuss each issue in more detail include:

“EIUL Call to Action – The Need for Consumer Intervention Has Increased (NAIC AG49 Does Not Resolve the Misleading and Deceptive Practices Issue)”, E. Randolph Whitelaw and Charles M. “Mark” Whitelaw, Tax Facts Online, September 2015. This article can be viewed by clicking here.

“Surprise: Your Life Insurance Rates are Going Up,” Leslie Scism, The Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2015.  This article can be viewed by clicking here.

Classifying Independent Contractors and Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Part I
by Alan Gassman and Alyssa Eberle

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 introduced the forty-hour work week, established minimum wage, guaranteed overtime for certain jobs, and prohibited child labor.[1] More recently, however, the FLSA has been the pinnacle of new lawsuits settling in the millions. Exotic dancers, IT professionals, and sales representatives have called upon the courts in numerous jurisdictions to redefine their classification from independent contractors to employees. However, is the reclassification of their position actually beneficial?

I. Classifying Independent Contractors and Employees

While many employers will classify their workers as independent contractors by asking the workers to sign an independent contractor agreement, numerous lawsuits and settlements have sprung up across the country alleging violations of the FLSA. Many courts are overlooking the independent contractor agreement due to the many other factors surrounding the employment of the worker. The IRS does not consider this agreement definitive; instead, the IRS considers the facts and circumstances for each worker on a case-by-case basis.

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are defined by the IRS as a natural person, business, or corporation that provides goods or services to another entity under contractual terms or within a verbal agreement. Generally, a person is an independent contractor if they have a right to control and direct what type of work will be done and how it will be done. The employer may only direct how they wish the final result of the work to look. The key concept to being an independent contractor is the right to control.

Independent contractors are therefore self-employed. These individuals must therefore pay self-employment tax as well as income tax. Self-employment tax is Social Security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who are self-employed.

Independent contractor agreements are not definitive as to the creation of an independent contractor relationship between “independent contractors” and owners. The IRS may still look past an agreement based on the facts and circumstances, such as the right to retain control on how the work is done. If the employer possesses more control, the worker looks more like an employee.

Another issue with an agreement deals with centrality analysis. For example, a business is likely not going to contract out a fundamental service. Since some independent contractors, such as exotic dancers and IT professionals, are an integral part of their employer’s business, there is higher scrutiny on whether it is an independent contractor job.

Another common mistake employers make is hiring a worker to work 40 hours a week as an independent contractor. If a worker is working 40 hours a week, the IRS is going to assume that the worker is an employee because the worker’s entire working life is occupied by a single job. Most independent contractors have multiple clients and are independent business people. It helps if the worker has multiple clients or works at multiple business locations.

To further establish an independent contractor relationship, the employer could charge rent for the use of equipment and space. Doing so would create less of an employer-employee relationship and give the workers more control over what tools they need to complete their jobs.

Additionally, the relationship should not be continuous. If a worker is with the employer for longer than six months, the business is vulnerable to liability. Long-term relationships will be better handled by a temp service relationship. The business-owner should look into hiring a temp agency to complete the hiring of independent contractors that could look more like employees to the IRS, so that the business may avoid liability.

The employer should not dictate the order in which the work is completed by the independent contractor. The more regular this is, the more it looks like employment. Also, independent contractors should not be considered at-will employees. Contractors are people who should be fired when they breach their contract and for nonperformance.


Employees are individuals who are fully employed by a business or other entity. Generally, you must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. Employees are also entitled to additional benefits if they qualify.

Employees do not have the same right to control as independent contractors. Instead, they are hired and fired individually and must cooperate with their employer’s business practices. Employees are also entitled to receive minimum wage. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, and Florida’s minimum wage is $8.05. In states like New York, the minimum wage is as high as $8.75.

Also known as the “right to control test,” the 20-factor test is designed to evaluate who controls how work is performed. The more control an employer has, the less likely the workers are independent contractors and should instead be classified as employees.

Some employers will request an IRS Form SS-8 simply to self-audit and do not submit the form to the IRS. This could be a good idea to determine whether or not Cheetah’s workers would be considered employees through the eyes of the IRS, and the management can adjust in certain areas accordingly.

According to the manual the IRS uses to train its classification auditors, the three most important factors are:

  1. Instruction to workers. If the employer is required to follow instructions on when, where, and how work is to be done, the worker is probably an employee.
  2. Job training. If the employer provides or arranges for training of any kind for the worker, it clearly shows that work is expected to be performed in a certain way. Training does not have to be formal. It can be informal, such as requiring the worker to attend meetings. If training is provided, then the worker is an employee.
  3. Worker’s ability to make a profit or suffer a loss. Only an independent contractor can realize a profit or financial loss from their work, whereas an employee may be rewarded, disciplined, or demoted. An employee, therefore, will always get paid, whereas an independent contractor has a financial stake in the business.

Taken directly from the IRS website, the IRS provides:

Facts that provide evidence of the degree of control and independence fall into three categories:

Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?

Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? These include things like how the worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.

Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee-type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue? Is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

Examples in Case Law of Misclassification

Many jurisdictions are addressing the issue of misclassification. In June of 2014, an Arkansas federal judge ruled that exotic dancers were entitled to individual damages for alleged wage-and-hour violations of the FLSA. The Court held that the “plaintiffs were not independently in the business of exotic dancing apart from the clubs where they worked.”[2] The plaintiffs in the French Quarter case were required to purchase their own costumes and cosmetics, and they were not paid an hourly rate for working their shifts. Further, any money that had been made by the plaintiffs was immediately turned over to the club, who would return the equivalent of 90 percent of tips and 50 percent of the amount received for private dances.[3]

The judge also found that the club failed to pay the dancers any set wages, in violation of the FLSA minimum wage provisions. Judge Dawson, who oversaw the case, noted that the “[d]efendants have failed to prove that they acted in good faith or had reasonable grounds for believing they were not in violation of the FLSA.”[4]

In reaching his decision, Judge Dawson used a five-prong test to determine the economic reality of whether or not the dancers were economically dependent upon the club, and whether the club’s management exercised considerable control over them. The “economic realities test” is now one of the cornerstones of analysis completed by the courts when making the determination of employee over independent contractor.

The economic realities test used in the French Quarter case must be considered when determining whether or not an individual should be classified as an independent contractor. The following five factors should be examined:

  1. The degree of control exercised by the employer over workers.
  2. The worker’s opportunity for profit and loss as well as their investment in the business.
  3. The degree of skill and independent initiative required to perform the work.
  4. The permanence and duration of the working relationship.
  5. The extent to which work is an integral part of the employer’s business. For example, if you took the worker away, would the business survive?

Courts have emphasized that not one factor is dispositive. All of these factors should be taken into consideration, and no one factor is more important than the others. If the worker does not exercise a large degree of control over their job, they may be considered employees. However, if the worker determines their own schedule, contracts with multiple businesses, and has a larger amount of control over their job, they would be considered an independent contractor.

Next week, in the conclusion of this article, we will look at tipped employees, including tip pools and requirements for tipped employees, as well as problems with the minimum wage.

[1] 29 U.S.C. §201-219.
[2] Whitworth v. French Quarter Partners, LLC et al, 6:13-CV-6003.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.

Eight Reasons to Consider a Corporate Trustee
by Matthew Blattmachr


Matthew Blattmachr is the Vice President and Trust Officer for Alaska Trust Company. He is an active member of the ATC Trust Committee and is responsible for client and vendor relationship management, reviewing and approving trust documents, performing trust and estate administration, discretionary distributions, and performing private foundation creation and administration. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Alaska Pacific University, a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, a CFP designation from the College of Financial Planning, and has earned a Certified Fiduciary & Investment Risk Management Specialist designation from the Cannon Financial Institute. Matthew is committed to giving back to the community and is currently serving on the Board of Trustees for the Anchorage Senior Center Endowment Fund.

One of the many decisions that clients are faced with when creating a trust is “who will be the trustee(s) and should you use an individual or an institution?” This seemingly simple decision is one of the most important.

While the trust outlines your wishes, wants, directions, and desires, you must be confident that the person or entity tasked with carrying out these decisions will act in the desired manner. Many individuals do not fully understand the fiduciary duty that is carried with being a trustee, nor do they wish to dedicate the considerable personal time required to properly manage the trust affairs. Inadequate knowledge or failure to attend to trust matters could result in harm to your beneficiaries, expensive lawsuits and, ultimately, a failure to achieve your intended results.

For the reasons listed above, there is an argument to be made that a professional, corporate trustee can add considerable value to your trust goals. Below you will find a few of the many reasons that you should consider a professional institutional trustee.

  1. Individual Trustees May Find it Difficult to Say No.

It is likely that an individual trustee will have a long and close history with the trust beneficiaries. While this can add a helpful element to the relationship, it can also cause critical issues to arise. Individual trustees may often find it difficult to say no when necessary, such as when required by the trust document.

They might find it hard to balance the desires of conflicting interests, such as telling a beneficiary that she can’t have a distribution to invest in a friend’s business, because the trust was set up to fund her education. Individual trustees are not trained to have these difficult conversations and are put under enormous personal pressures to say “yes” when the answer should be “no.”

  1. Lack of Time and Expertise.

A corporate trustee dedicates its full attention to fiduciary services. Whereas individual trustees typically do not have the time or expertise required to properly administer a trust.

Think about the time it takes to manage your own finances. Could you take on the administration of a multi-million dollar trust with battling beneficiaries as an unpaid hobby for the foreseeable future? Each of us have other duties and concerns to which we must attend, and it can be difficult to prioritize trust matters when it is not your full-time profession.

  1. Cost.

Corporate trustees can actually reduce the overall trust administration costs. A corporate trustee will have a team of qualified people to properly administer the trust. Each member of the team will have specialized knowledge ranging from legal to investments and insurance to counseling. It is likely that an individual will have to hire professionals (attorneys, accountants, investment advisors and other agents) to do many of the tasks that a corporate trustee is already doing for other clients. Purchasing these services in a piecemeal basis can result in higher fees.

  1. Expertise Required.

A trustee should have an understanding of both trust law, federal and state trust tax rules as well as many other areas of fiduciary standards of care. These rules are often voluminous and not necessarily logical. Without this knowledge and awareness, a trustee could cause unintentional harm to the trust and its beneficiaries, such as causing it to lose beneficial tax treatment status (as in the case of a special needs trust) by failing to meet tax law requirements. Even if an individual understands and is aware of today’s legal requirements, as we all know, the rules are constantly changing. These changes require continuing education to remain aware of the rules and requirements.

  1. Individual Trustees are not Subject to any Regulatory or Audit Oversight.

In many ways, they are not accountable to anyone. A corporate trustee is periodically examined and reviewed by independent auditors and either state or federal banking regulators. Additionally, as professionals, they carry appropriate liability insurance and bonds.

Individual trustees typically do not realize the standard of care and potential liability that comes with acting as a fiduciary, thus increasing the likelihood that they will breach their fiduciary duty. Additionally, if they are unaware of the seriousness of their position, they will likely not purchase liability insurance, which can be expensive. If an unfortunate situation arose where trust beneficiaries were to sue the individual trustee, it is probable that the individual trustee would not have proper insurance. In this situation, any resulting judgment would need to be satisfied from the individual trustee’s personal assets. If the trustee could not pay the damages, there might not be a way to satisfy the judgment.

  1. A Fiduciary Position Carries with it Many Requirements Including the Duty of Loyalty and the Duty to Report to Beneficiaries.

Individual trustees typically don’t have the tools necessary to properly account to beneficiaries. They may not understand that certain trusts must account separately for the funds available to income beneficiaries and those funds available to the remainder beneficiaries. This could result in unequal shares or distribution of assets.

  1. Longevity.

There is a good chance that trusts are created when performing estate planning and when one is thinking about how to provide for loved ones upon their passing. This planning requires one to consider their own mortality. While it is not an enjoyable task, when considering one’s own mortality, it might be wise to consider the mortality of those around them, particularly trusted people that would be considered for appointment as individual trustees.

During their appointment, individual trustees could become disabled and will, unfortunately, eventually be unable to serve due to age, health, or death. Who will continue the trust administration of the ongoing trust when this event occurs, which can leave gaps in trust performance. A corporate trust company does not depend on any one person’s health or longevity to continue with trust administration.

  1. Best of Both Worlds.

Individual trustees can add great value to a trust relationship, such as their intimate knowledge of the beneficiaries and the family. With enough time, a corporate trustee can accomplish the same and can offer the above-listed advantages. A final point to consider is getting the “best of both worlds” by using a trustee committee. This committee can consist of an individual or multiple individuals and a corporate trustee. This committee will be in charge of all trust administration matters and can benefit from the knowledge of all those involved while enjoying the benefits of longevity and cost savings.

These are just some of the reasons your clients may benefit from a corporate trustee. To discuss a specific client or for help figuring out which trust may be right, please visit

Seminar Spotlight
Upcoming Webinars Not to Miss!

It has come to our attention that a few of our webinar links below were not directing potential registrants to the correct sign in page. We have a lot of great webinars coming up this month, and next, including the following:

Next Tuesday, December 15th, Alan Gassman will present PLANNING TO PROTECT MEDICAL PRACTICE ENTITIES AND INCOME. Based on an upcoming live presentation, this webinar will provide registrants with a number of creditor protection strategies, arrangements, and items that can and should be considered and implemented while clients are in the process of protecting or planning for their medical practice. There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

To register for the 12:30 PM webinar, please click here. To register for the 5:00 PM webinar, please click here.

On Wednesday, December 16, Bill Kahn will join Alan Gassman for the second webinar in his series entitled THE SUGAR DADDY HUSTLE. This webinar will discuss what proactive, preventive steps to take when an emotional episode that may leave an elderly person susceptible to cons has occurred. This webinar will also discuss signs to look for if a family member or advisors suspects a con has already begun and what should be done to put a stop to it. There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

To register for the 12:30 PM webinar, please click here. To register for the 5:00 PM webinar, please click here.

The final webinar in the Bill Kahn series will be presented on January 27th and is entitled THE ADVOCATE. Hospital errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In a case of a medical emergency, someone might need to make quick decisions on your behalf to prevent that from being you. This webinar will describe the absolute need for a qualified advocate and how to avoid seemingly minor errors that can results in medical error deaths. There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

To register for the 12:30 PM webinar, please click here. To register for the 5:00 PM webinar, please click here.

Richard Connolly’s World
Social Security: File-and-Suspend

Insurance advisor Richard Connolly of Ward & Connolly in Columbus, Ohio often shares with us pertinent articles found in well-known publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and The New York Times. Each week, we will feature some of Richard’s recommendations with links to the articles.

This week, the first article of interest is “File-And-Suspend No More?” by Mark Miller. This article was featured on on October 23, 2015.

Richard’s description is as follows:

File-and-suspend is hot. The once-obscure Social Security strategy for married couples has become almost mainstream in the past couple of years; a growing number of financial planners recommend the strategy to clients.

But planners hoping to get the benefits would be well-advised to get it while they can. File-and-suspend is at the top of Washington’s hit list for changes to retirement policy.

That’s not the only potential change to the law or tax code that could impact client retirement plans. Other candidates include an end to backdoor Roth IRAs, unstretching the stretch IRA, and tighter caps on pretax contributions to 401(k)s.

Please click here to read this article in its entirety.

The second article of interest this week is “Tax Shelters at Risk” by William Baldwin. This article was featured on on November 25, 2015.

Richard’s description is as follows:

Shocker: Congress cuts Social Security benefits. A budget deal at the end of October annihilates certain convoluted schemes for enhancing payouts, notably one in which you file for benefits and then “suspend” them.

There’s a lesson here. If Congress can snatch back a Social Security goodie, it can snatch anything. It can outlaw any tax maneuver that rich people are fond of. Don’t dawdle with a retirement or estate opportunity that may vanish next year.

This article reviews four tax stratagems that are at risk – ones that even a Republican president might sign away.

Please click here to read this article in its entirety.

Humor! (or Lack Thereof!)

Sign Saying of the Week



In the News
by Ron Ross

Samsung released a new virtual reality headset. It’s so real, it makes reality seem fake. Put it on your Christmas list or give it to someone disappointed with this year’s violence, silly politics, and poor plays from Peyton Manning.


Because of the United States obesity epidemic, the Department of Health is warning children not to leave cookies and milk for Santa. Santa is not taking it well.


Self-driving cars are already complaining about the traffic and other cars that tailgate or pass on the right. Most of all, they complain about those humans they have to carry around.


More Exciting News About the New Star Wars Movie!

Everyone’s excited about the new installment of the franchise, now produced by our most famous family entertainment corporation. Many details are still being kept under wraps, but here’s an exclusive look at the new Death Star:

Death Star

Upcoming Seminars and Webinars

Calendar of Events


Alan Gassman will present a free, 30-minute webinar on the topic of PLANNING TO PROTECT MEDICAL PRACTICE ENTITIES AND INCOME.

There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 | 12:30 PM or 5 PM

Location: Online webinar:

Additional Information: To register for the 12:30 PM webinar, please click here. To register for the 5:00 PM webinar, please click here. For more information, please contact Alan Gassman at



Bill Kahn will join Alan Gassman for a free webinar on the topic of THE SUGAR DADDY HUSTLE.

The classic “Sugar Daddy” situation is usually a win-win for both the male and the female involved. Both understand the situation and are willing participants. But for an older man who has undergone a traumatic life experience, is lonely, and may have somewhat diminished mental capacity, there are certain types of women who will use this to their advantage and make him their unknowing “Sugar Daddy.”

These women have researched the legal aspects of their operation and identified loop holes in the law which they can exploit. They take over the man’s life, make decisions, allow his health to deteriorate, and place him in financial tenuous situations for their own benefit. Within the USA, it amounts to a con of over $3 billion annually.

This webinar will discuss what proactive preventive steps to take when an emotional episode has occurred in an elderly person’s life. If a con has already begun, we’ll look at the signs delineating financial and non-financial abuse. Once in progress, there are steps which should be taken to minimize the impact.

Questions to be answered during this presentation include:

  • For elderly men, what is the difference between the conventional Sugar Daddy and the Sugar Daddy Hustle?
  • Why are older men more susceptible to being scammed?
  • Are there preventive steps which should be taken when a man has recently undergone a traumatic life experience?
  • How can you recognize a con?
  • What should be done after a scam has begun?

There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Location: Online webinar

Additional Information: To register for the 12:30 PM webinar, please click here. To register for the 5:00 PM webinar, please click here. For more information, please contact Alan Gassman at




Alan Gassman will present two talks at the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Health Law and Tax Section Representing the Physician seminar. His topics include:

  1. A Brief Introduction to the Current State of the Physician’s World (with Lester Perling)
  2. Creditor Protection for the Medical Practice

Other speakers at this event include Jerome Hesch, Michael O’Leary, Colleen Flynn, Jeff Howard, Darryl Richards, and others.

To download the brochure, or for a complete schedule, please click here.

Date: January 8, 2016 | Mr. Gassman will speak at 8:15 AM and 10:50 AM

Location: Rosen Plaza Hotel | 9700 International Drive, Orlando, FL, 32819

Additional Information: For more information, please email Alan Gassman at



Bill Kahn will join Alan Gassman for a free webinar on the topic of THE ADVOCATE.

Hospital errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the USA. Even if you go in for a minor procedure, you can become a medical error death or develop severe complications. Someone must quickly decide how to prevent that from being you, but what should be done?

There are ways to protect yourself from these problems. An Advocate can take steps to protect you from many of them and have the hospital staff go through those extra due diligence steps.

Questions to be answered during this presentation include:

  • What’s the biggest scandal in healthcare history?
  • Why has progress on patient safety been slow to develop?
  • What are a few examples of simple errors that can lead to catastrophic results?
  • How can one avoid those seemingly minor errors?

There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Location: Online webinar

Additional Information: To register for the 12:30 PM webinar, please click here. To register for the 5:00 PM webinar, please click here. For more information, please contact Alan Gassman at




Alan Gassman will present four, one-hour, Medical Education Resources, Inc. talks for cardiologists and other doctors who dare attend this outstanding 4-day conference. Join us at Hemingway’s for a whiskey & soda and a ring of the bell. Beach Boys not invited.

Mr. Gassman’s topics will include:

  • The 10 Biggest Mistakes that Physicians Make in Their Investment and Business Planning (January 30th: 10:10 AM – 11:10 AM)
  • Lawsuits 101: How They Work, What to Expect, and What Your Lawyer and Insurance Carrier May Not Tell You (January 30th: 11:10 AM – 12:10 PM)
  • 50 Ways to Leave Your Overhead (January 31st: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM)
  • Essential Creditor Protection and Retirement Planning Considerations (January 31st: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM)

Date: January 28 – 31, 2016 | Mr. Gassman will speak on Saturday, January 30, from 10:10 AM to 12:10 PM and Sunday, January 31 from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Location: Casa Marina Resort | 1500 Reynolds Street, Key West, FL, 33040

Additional Information: For more information, please email Alan Gassman at



Alan Gassman will present a free, 45-minute webinar on the topic of ESTATE PLANNING BASICS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS.

This webinar will be specially made for and presented in partnership with Maui Mastermind. There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 | 12:30 PM or 5 PM

Location: Online webinar:

Additional Information: To register for this presentation or for more information, please contact Alan Gassman at



Alan Gassman will present a free, 45-minute webinar on the topic of ASSET PROTECTION BASICS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS.

This webinar will be specially made for and presented in partnership with Maui Mastermind. There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 | 12:30 PM or 5 PM

Location: Online webinar:

Additional Information: To register for this presentation or for more information, please contact Alan Gassman at




Alan Gassman will be presenting at the InterActive Estate & Elder Planning Summit on a topic to be determined.

Other speakers include Jonathan Blattmachr, Michael Graham, Pope Francis, Mother Theresa, Thomas Jefferson, and others.

Date: April 20-22, 2016 | Mr. Gassman’s presentation time is TBD.

Location: Courtyard Marriott Boston Downtown | 275 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

Additional Information: For more information, please visit or contact Alan Gassman at




This one-day conference will take place in Naples, Florida on Friday, May 6, 2016.

On Thursday, May 5, there will be a special dinner with Jonathan Blattmachr. Jonathan will also present at the conference on Friday. Be sure to bring an extra pair of socks because the first pair will get knocked off by Jonathan’s talk!

Alan’s Friday morning presentation will be entitled COFFEE WITH ALAN: AN INTRODUCTION TO SELECT ESTATE PLANNING AND ASSET PROTECTION STRATEGIES. During this session, Alan will offer an overview of the topics that will be presented throughout the Estate Planning Conference. Attendees new to these specific estate planning areas will find the presentation useful and helpful.

Alan will also moderate the Luncheon Speaker Panel with Jonathan Blattmachr, Stacy Eastland, and Lee-ford Tritt. The panel will cover the topic of WHAT WE WISH WE KNEW WHEN WE STARTED PRACTICING LAW – NON-TAX AND PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR ESTATE PLANNERS YOUNG AND OLD.

Don’t miss it!

Date: May 6, 2016

Location: Ritz Carlton Golf Resort | 2600 Tiburon Drive, Naples, FL, 34109

Additional Information: For more information, please contact Alan Gassman at



Alan Gassman will present a free, 45-minute webinar on the topic of EQUITY STRIPPING AND OTHER ADVANCED ASSET PROTECTION IDEAS.

This webinar will be specially made for and presented in partnership with Maui Mastermind. There will be two opportunities to attend this presentation.

Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 | 12:30 PM or 5 PM

Location: Online webinar:

Additional Information: To register for this presentation or for more information, please contact Alan Gassman at

Notable Events by Others



Date: January 11 – January 15, 2016

Come celebrate the 50th Year Anniversary (and 32 years of Alan Gassman not speaking at this conference) with us and our many friends (or at least they pretend to like us) at this important annual estate planning event.

Please visit the InterActive Legal booth to see the new Alan Gassman Florida Channel and get a free book of your choice by being one of the first to sign up for this new, monthly, interactive, computer-based library featuring several of Alan’s books.

Special thanks to Michael Graham of InterActive Legal for risking their entire operation on the success of this channel. 

Location: Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center | 8701 World Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32821 

Additional Information: Registration for the 50th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning opened on August 3, 2015. For more information, please visit




We are pleased to announce that Jonathan Blatttmachr, Howard Zaritsky, Lee-Ford Tritt, Lauren Detzel, Michael Markham, and others will be speaking at the 2016 All Children’s Hospital Estate, Tax, Legal & Financial Planning Seminar.

Lauren Detzel will be speaking on Family Law and Tax Planning for Divorce, Michael Markham will be speaking on Bankruptcy and Creditor Protection/Fraudulent Transfers in the Context of Estate Planning, Howard Zaritsky will talk about Income and Estate Tax Planning Techniques in View of Recent Developments, and Lee-Ford Tritt will speak on Gun Trusts and Same Sex Marriage Consideration Highlights.  Do not miss this important conference.

We thank Lydia Bailey and Lori Johnson for their incredible dedication (and patience with certain members of the Board of Advisors.) All Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Johns Hopkins.

Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Location: Live Event at the All Children’s Hospital St. Petersburg Campus; Live webcasts in Tampa, Fort Myers, Belleair, New Port Richey, Lakeland, and Sarasota

Additional Information: Please contact Lydia Bennett Bailey at for more information.

Applicable Federal Rates

Below we have this month, last month’s, and the preceding month’s Applicable Federal Rates, because for a sale you can use the lowest of the 3.

Dec. Federal Rates