The Thursday Report – 5.1.2014 – Charitable Planning, Wait to Reinstate?, TBE Life Insurance, Oshins 11

Hesch on Charitable Planning and Explaining Charitable Planning to Clients

Wait to Reinstate

Letter Explaining the Use of Life Insurance for a Physician Client as a TBE Substitute in Case the Non-Physician Spouse Dies

Engineering Medical Practice Compliance, an article by Dr. Pariksith Singh

The 5th Annual Domestic Asset Protection Trust State Rankings Chart by Steve Oshins

Taking Piano to Heart – One Lawyer’s Story

Seminar Announcement – Don’t Skip (Fox) and Alan Gassman in Columbus, Ohio – JEST Enjoy It! Best Seminar Since 1492!

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

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

Hesch on Charitable Planning and Explaining Charitable Planning to Clients


On April 22 Jerry Hesch spoke at a donor luncheon for Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida and did a great job of showing how taxes can be saved when donors wish to benefit a charity and integrate charitable planning with their family and income tax situations.

The introduction to Jerry’s outline reads as follows:


Charitable supporters face income, estate and gift tax challenges that can be alleviated with the use of charitable tax law coordination and planning.  In many situations the tax savings generated by these techniques will pay for all or a large part of the charitable donation and the donor can still enjoy seeing local charities improve their facilities and services, while giving well deserved thanks to the donor and the donor’s family.

The most important function a tax planning professional must master is how to communicate the tax savings from the different charitable giving techniques in a manner that the potential donor can quickly and easily understand.  The primary focus of this presentation will be how to communicate charitable giving techniques that can save taxes in an efficient and understandable manner.

Today’s presentation is designed to show how the use of brief descriptions and short financial illustrations can accomplish this communication objective.  Specific topics covered will include the following:

How the income tax deduction for charitable gifts can be used to generate a 43.4% tax savings, and also facilitate avoidance of a 23.8% capital gains tax and avoid estate taxes.

Using a lifetime charitable lead annuity trust (“CLAT”) in a low interest rate environment to pass an income producing investment on to the next generation without any gift or estate taxes and actually pass more on to the children than if no planning had been used.

 How a charitable remainder Unitrust (“CRUT”) can create current charitable income tax deductions that can offset up to 50% of adjusted gross income when an individual wants to implement a Roth IRA conversion or has other large amounts of ordinary income that would otherwise be taxable.  How the use of life insurance by the CRUT can further enhance the income tax benefits of the CRUT.

Using Net Income Makeup Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (the “NIMCRUT”) when an individual anticipates selling an appreciated asset at a large gain so that the capital gains tax that would otherwise be paid on the gain from the sale of that asset can instead be given to a charity at the end of the charitable remainder trust term.  How the charitable remainder trust can even be used for the gain from the sale of an operating business by minimizing the amount of unrelated business income allocated to the charitable remainder trust.

How individuals in their late 80s and 90s, and individuals with a short life expectancies can use lifetime charitable lead annuity trusts that make payments to charities for a given number of years to extend the compounding of a this tax-free wealth shifting technique for as many years as needed after their deaths so that there are no gift or estate taxes on the transfer of an income-producing asset to the next generation. Why lifetime CLATs are a more advantageous solution to the testamentary charitable lead annuity trust (the “CLAT”).

How to terminate an existing charitable remainder trust so that the charity can receive funds currently instead of having to wait until the creator of the trust dies and show how the creator of the trust can be better off by receiving a lump sum upon an early termination instead of receiving distributions each year for the rest of the creator’s life.  How to use the early termination of a trust to convert ordinary income into capital gain.


Explaining how a technique works, and communicating the wealth shifting concepts incorporated therein is an essential role for the tax and estate planning professional.  Part of the communication process is to explain the technique in a way that the individual can easily understand without the use of technical terms that the individual is often unfamiliar with.  An important aspect of the communication process is to illustrate the potential transfer tax savings without overwhelming the individual with complicated financial data and the use of technical terms.

Most donors realize that the highest tax bracket consists of the 39.6% income bracket and the 3.8% Medicare tax for a combined total annual income tax bracket of 43.4%, and that capital gains are taxed at the 23.8% combined income and Medicare tax brackets. Further, assets in excess of $5,340,000 left on death to non charity and non spouse beneficiaries will be subject to estate tax at the 40% bracket, with the $5,340,000 2014 threshold going up with the Consumer Price Index, but being reduced by gifts exceeding $14,000 per person during the person’s lifetime.

Example John Supporter has a $3,000,000 net worth and pays income taxes at the highest bracket.  He has stock worth $11,000 that cost him $1,000.  He can sell the stock for $11,000 and will pay $2,380 of income tax, and then give the money to his nieces or nephews, or he can give the stock to a charity, pay no capital gains tax, and save $4,340 in income taxes for total tax savings of $6,720, or 61% of the amount gifted, while receiving recognition and the satisfaction of having made a difference for a good cause or charitable activity.

If John was also estate taxable then the estate tax savings would be another 40% (without taking into account future growth, so $4,400 of estate tax savings plus $6,720 of income tax savings amounts to $11,120 of savings on an $11,000 gift!

The tax savings in the example above may be even greater if there are medical expenses, alternative minimum tax or other situations at hand which are further described below.

Besides the above, there are a number of charitable giving mechanisms that planners can use to allow family or self benefits to occur while allowing for present or future dollars or assets to go to charity.

With a Charitable Remainder Trust tax deductions apply on funding, even though payments are received by the donor or family members for a term of years, and capital gains taxes can be avoided.

A simple example is that the donor puts $100,000 of appreciated stock into a trust that pays him $4,000 a year for 20 years.  The donor gets an immediate tax deduction on the donation based on the present value of what the charity is expected to receive, and may pay the capital gains tax on the sale of the asset ratably over time as he or she receives the $4,000 payments, instead of immediately on sale.  This is a way to eat the icing off of your cake, after you have given it away!

With a Charitable Lead Trust assets can be placed in a trust that pays the charity a set dollar amount or percentage of its value for a term of years, and everything left after that may go to the donor’s children or other individual beneficiaries without estate tax.

A simple example is that someone age 72 who will be in the 40% estate tax bracket will put $100,000 into a Charitable Lead Trust that pays a charity $8,200 a year for 12 years, and then is held for the donor’s children. This is not considered to be a gift to the children under the gift tax law.  If the trust is worth $50,000 after the 12th payment, then the donor got income tax deductions based on 43.4% of $100,000 in payments, and thus saved $43,400 in income taxes over the 10 years, and $20,000 of estate or gift tax for total savings of $63,400 on a $100,000 gift.  If a family partnership or LLC is used then the savings can be much greater.

Jerry’s discussion of the use of charitable lead trusts can be viewed by clicking here.

Next week we will feature Jerry’s charitable remainder trust discussion.

Wait to Reinstate

For a Florida LLC, if you file your Annual Report after May 1st, you will incur a $400.00 late fee (in addition to the $138.75 Annual Report fee) at the time of filing for a total amount due of $538.75.

HOWEVER, if you wait until September when the Secretary of State administratively dissolves LLCs that did not file their Annual Reports, the $400.00 late fee will no longer apply.  Instead the LLC will pay a $100.00 reinstatement fee (in addition to the $138.75 Annual Report fee) for a total amount due of $238.75.

This results in a savings of $300.

Further, what is the rush to reinstate?  Reinstatement goes back retroactively, and each year there is no additional penalty, they just add on the $138.75.  Eventually the annual report fees may increase retroactively, but for now the smart client will want to wait to reinstate.

Letter Explaining the Use of Life Insurance for a Physician Client as a TBE Substitute in Case the Non-Physician Spouse Dies

Recently a client asked us the following question:

Alan, Mary and I were doing some planning and were looking at life insurance options.  You and I had discussed getting a new policy to stagger expiration dates for coverage, specifically, to replace a $2 million dollar policy with two $1 million dollar policies, one for 20 years and one for 30 years.

Can you refresh my memory on the asset protection component of doing this?  As I recall, there was an issue with TBE assets becoming exposed if I die and there was a tax issue as well.




Our response to the client is as follows:

Dear John and Mary:

Thank you for your email asking for guidance on the new life insurance.

We favor having multiple policies because once you buy a policy you can never reduce the death benefit.  If you buy two $500,000 policies and decide in later years that you only need half of the coverage then you can drop one policy and keep the other.

It does not cost much more to have two $500,000 policies, as compared to one $1,000,000 policy.

On the death of one spouse the life insurance proceeds can be held for the health, education and maintenance of the surviving spouse without being subject to the federal estate tax on the surviving spouse’s estate.

Also, the life insurance proceeds can be held without creditors having access to them.

For example, if Mary dies you are going to lose your tenancy by the entireties protection, but if she dies leaving life insurance in a trust that benefits you for your lifetime without being subject to federal estate tax or creditor claims, this helps to replace the tenancy by the entireties assets and to supplement your future creditor protection and the protection of your children’s inheritance from a potential future spouse and potential future children.

From an estate tax standpoint if we think that there is a good likelihood that the insured spouse will die during the term of the policy, and that the couple will have a net worth exceeding what passes estate tax free (which is presently $5,340,000 per spouse, increased with inflation under the present system), then we can place the life insurance into an irrevocable life insurance trust.  This helps to protect the actual ownership of the life insurance policy in case the insured spouse were to ever die, and also avoids federal estate tax on the policy proceeds.

Would you like to set up a ten minute call between the three of us to discuss this?

Best personal regards,


Engineering Compliance
by Dr. Pariksith Singh

We talk about compliance and how important it is for an organization. But what is compliance really? Is it only adherence to certain rules and regulations or is it something more? Is it just documentation and fulfillment of certain policy requirements? To my mind, compliance is the back bone of an organization. It is the true strength of the company. How do we make compliance the part of an organization’s DNA?

These are the things I believe should be done:

1) Compliance needs to be part of the Value System of the company: What is value system? It is the basis on which we judge the appropriateness of all our actions, behaviors, processes and systems. Compliance needs to be the moral and ethical fiber of the company.

2) Compliance is non-negotiable: This is the message that needs to be sent out to the staff constantly. Mere words do not suffice. It is the actions that show staff how seriously the company takes it. To paraphrase my friend Mirza Yawar Baig, “The staff listens with their eyes.”

3) Buy-In from Leadership: Unless the whole leadership team is solidly behind it, compliance will not get ingrained in the fabric of the organization. There will be tests time and again when compromise is the easier way out. But when issues are serious and violations are clear-cut and flagrant, everyone needs to get behind the decision and support it.

4) Constant drilling is needed: Compliance training is not a once-a-year training program or session or testing after some reviews. Compliance is a matter of constant awareness, training and education. We can’t emphasize it enough. E-mails with tips on a weekly basis should be sent and staff feedback is to be welcomed. Mere education too is not enough. We need to engage employees and make them understand why compliance is the life blood of their work.

5) Quiz and Question: We need to be able to quiz our staff on the spot with a compliance issue and test their ability to think on their feet and respond immediately. This should be part of the evaluation of that office. If the answer is right, there should be an immediate reward like a $5 certificate or note of appreciation. In the event of an audit from an agency, such spot quizzes or questioning of employees will happen for sure and if they are not prepped their answers will be usually of a stunned silence or “I do not know’s”.

6) Celebrate Compliance: Compliance or adherence to the law should not be painful. The way it becomes part of the culture is by making it a positive aspect of the company and integrating it with the value system. Rewarding employees who are sticklers in the right way, creating award programs, making it fun and sportive are all part of a good and strong compliance program.

7) Review of Operations: Every process starting with hiring to orientation to training and review and firing or exit interviews should be reviewed for all employees. Also, each process in offices or in various departments should be broken down at a granular level and reviewed and made compliant by retooling and re-processing as needed. A proper Policies and Procedures Manual is a must and must be a part of every employee’s vocabulary and made available for reference at all times.

8) IT Processes: Once operations are made precise and legitimate, the computer software, Enterprise Resource Processes and CRMs need to reflect the steps that need to be taken to accomplish the task. If education and training and employee orientation are the software of compliance, IT and operations are the hardware.

9) Documentation and record-keeping: Documentation is the sine qua non and without documentation the program has no way to be measured. This documentation needs to be shared with the Executive team transparently and compliantly and a proper repository of such records must be kept available as needed to appropriate personnel.

10) Compliance Committee: A team of leaders should be appointed to review the compliance program on a regular basis and should have the ability to tailor the program to the organization’s needs, functions and regulatory status. The members should be willing to study the subject and share the knowledge with the company. Hiring of consultants who are experts in compliance is another way to enhance an organization’s knowledge base and expertise. Special courses in compliance and certification for key people should be encouraged and emphasized.

True compliance leads to quality even though the two departments are separate and should be kept separate. Compliance is a function of humility, willingness to learn and abide by the law, leadership and a fundamental transparency. If focused on with adequate attention, compliance can become a core competency of the organization and its strategic strength in this world of audits and Federal refunds, punishments and disbarments.

Dr. Singh thanks Alan S. Gassman and Kristen O. Sweeney for their assistance in preparing this article for publication.

The 5th Annual Domestic Asset Protection Trust State Rankings Chart
by Steve Oshins

We sincerely thank Steve Oshins for everything that he has done on the Domestic Asset Protection Trust scene to make these a well respected and protective vehicle with many uses well beyond “creditor protection”.  Oshins and Oshins has a great website at

The 5th Annual Domestic Asset Protection Trust State Rankings Chart is at

Some Highlights:

1.  Mississippi was added to the chart.

2.  Colorado was removed from the chart because of space limitations and because its DAPT law is very questionable.

3.  There is now a “Decanting State Ranking” column reflecting the importance of that added flexibility.

4.  “Reputation” and “Other Adjustments” have been removed in order to reduce subjectivity.  I’m not yet certain whether that helps or hurts.

5.  Because many states have enhanced their statutes over the past few years, many of the states have very close Total Scores.  It is important to note that the amount of weight given to different columns is very uniform, so if you believe that certain columns should be more heavily weighted, then minor adjustments will change the rankings, especially for the states ranked #5 through #11.

Please provide both positive and negative feedback.

The sister charts are at:

*Dynasty Trust State Rankings Chart:

*Decanting State Rankings Chart:

Quotes from Steve:

1.  As the DAPT states have improved their statutes, the competition among the states has gotten fierce.

2.  This year I tried to reduce the subjectivity even more by removing the state’s reputation from the scoring so that the states are now ranked solely on the face of their statutes.

3.  The current chart now includes a column for decanting to reflect its popularity and importance to DAPTs and other types of trusts.

Taking Piano to Heart – One Lawyer’s Story
by Laura Snell

laura snell

Laura Snell is a candidate for Sixth Circuit Judge group 1. She is a native Floridian with ties to Pinellas County that go back to the early 1900’s.  Her great-grandfather, Getty E. Snell and his brother C.Perry Snell, developed the Old Northeast and Snell Isle areas of St. Petersburg.  Laura is an honors graduate of University of Central Florida with a degree in Spanish and a Degree in Political Science: International Relations and Comparative Governments.   She went on to Stetson University College of Law where she earned a Juris Doctor. Ms. Snell began working at the Sixth Circuit Public Defender’s Clearwater Office in the Spring of 2005.  Laura is now the Senior Assistant Public Defender supervising the Juvenile Division.  She is also an Adjunct Professor of Law for Stetson University College of Law managing the Child Advocacy Clinic. Additionally Ms. Snell has worked in private practice at Wagstaff Law Office as an associate in the practice areas of family law and probate.

Laura Snell has been a member of the Clearwater Bar Association for most of her career.  She participates in many committees, Florida Bar Association and serves on several community boards relating to juvenile justice. Laura enjoys an active role at the Pinellas Pace Center for Girls.  She has been on the Board of Directors for several years, and currently serves in the position of President of the Pace Board.  Ms. Snell graduated from Leadership Pinellas in the 2010 class and has remained on their Board of Directors for several years. She is also a graduate of the Largo Citizen’s Academy and served on the Board of Trustees for AMI Kids Pinellas.  Laura is a member of the Delta Gamma Clearwater Alumnae group and belongs to St. Paul United Methodist Church of Largo.

For more information please visit her website:

Here is Laura’s article:

Here’s something not many of my colleagues know about me – I play the piano.  I started taking lessons at age four and continued with formal instruction until the tenth grade.  I also played the clarinet in jazz band and in the orchestra in middle and high school.  Music has been a very big part of my life and I firmly believe the skills I gained from playing the piano assisted me academically.

Playing the piano requires the individual to become fluent in the language of music composition which is so much more than simply having the ability to read notes on a page of sheet music, although that in and of itself is an accomplishment.   It is a different form of communication than the spoken or written word that is akin to a foreign language.  Playing the piano also requires keeping the tempo, having a divided attention between tasks of one’s hands/feet/eyes, being fully in the moment while thinking ahead to plan the next move, expressing the emotion and mood of a song to the audience, learning to improvise when mistakes happen, and growing from words of criticism.

A young man named Kwasi Enin made national headlines after being accepted into eight Ivy League schools. On April 30, 2014 he announced his decision to attend Yale in the fall.  In Enin’s college application essay he wrote about his passion for music and how playing the viola impacted his academic pursuits saying:

There are millions of combinations of key signatures, chords, melodies and rhythms in the world of music that wait to become attached to a sheet of staff lines and spaces. As I began to explore a minute fraction of these combinations from the third grade onwards, my mind began to formulate roundabout methods to solve any mathematical problem, address any literature prompt, and discover any exit in an undesirable situation.

I know that playing the piano was my safety net that got me through law school.  This is especially true immediately after graduation from law school during that critical study time while preparing for The Florida Bar exam.   For a three month period my life was dedicated to passing The Florida Bar which meant that 12+ hours of my days were spent secluded in the Stetson Law library.   I would typically leave the library around midnight and retire to the Mann Lounge where the school had a grand piano.  Let me set the scene, there is really nothing about this large room that measures 48 by 85 feet and has 16-foot ceilings that makes me think “lounge”.  Inside this massive room there is a  fireplace which is a slightly modified reproduction of the painter El Greco’s favorite fireplace,  two huge collectable and presumably  very valuable vases made especially for the 1895 Colombian exposition in Chicago, the  paintings on the walls are the work of Peruvian artist Victor Robian from the early 1900s, there are  antique furnishings and one grand piano.   I had never seen anyone play that piano and I wasn’t even sure we were allowed to touch it, but my longing to play prevailed and I figured I would be safe playing during such late hours.

Playing the piano relaxed me and kept me grounded. Music gave balance to my stressful life.  While playing in the Mann Lounge I would take my frustrations and fears out on that grand piano.   I remember one occasion when I was really banging away on the keys and I thought I was in trouble because the security guard came in and stood next to me.  Panic struck throughout my body and I thought to myself, “well the jig is up I’m going to be kicked out and forbidden from touching this piano”!  What I didn’t know was that the security guard had been a fan of my music for weeks. He had been making his rounds to patrol the Mann lounge right around midnight just to listen to me play. As it turned out in my moment of panic he wasn’t asking me to leave, he was requesting some Billy Joel songs.

Playing piano is very personal for me; I am not an entertainer and haven’t played publicly since I was about fifteen, with the exception of my nightly concerts in the Mann lounge.  The piano has always given me an emotional outlet throughout my life – if I’m sad I can play a soulful tune, if I’m happy I can play something light hearted and patriotic, if I’m feeling loved I can play a ballad, and when I want to worship I can play hymns.  In times of frustration I have my favorite classical piece that allows me to transfer that aggravation to the piano keys; and for this I thank you Edvard Grieg for the concerto in A minor.   Many people say that they get their best thinking done when they are in the shower, I can say I have done some of my best thinking while my hands and mind were busy by playing the piano.

The sad truth is that the arts are almost always first on the chopping block in the schools. I believe that music education is completely underrated and undervalued when budgets are being made by decision makers. I started thinking, if music is so undervalued how do we connect with people to impress upon them the importance of music education and playing the piano? People who play music understand what it does for your personal development, I get that and it would appear that young Kwasi Enin does too.   But how do you explain the power of music to someone who does not “get it”?  That’s when I realized for me that playing the piano not only aided my personal and academic development, but also in strengthening my familial relationship . The bond between parent and child or grandparent and child is a universally accepted concept and here’s one example from my life where this bond  applies to playing the piano.

When I was fifteen I found a box in the attic.  In the bottom of that box was a pile of dusty sheet music of tunes from the 1940’s that I had never heard before.  One of those songs was called  “Peg O’ My Heart” by Alfred Bryan and Fred Fisher.  I sat down at the piano and gave it my best shot.

As I was playing this for the first time, my Mom came running into the living room singing the lyrics    “PEG O MY HEART I LOVE YOU” and she was crying.   That box had belonged to Doris Fogle, my great-grandmother who was born in 1900 and died in 1985.  Up until that moment I had no idea that my great-grandmother even played the piano.  After Doris’ death her things were put in storage in our attic.  My Mom told me she was crying because as soon as she heard that song playing she was reminded of her childhood and the times when her grandmother used to play it on the piano.  My Mom said in that moment she could feel her grandmother’s presence. My great-grandmother passed away when I was only as a child but in that moment I felt a bond with her too.

Now that my Mom has passed away, when I play Peg O’My Heart on the piano I feel a connection to her and to my great-grandmother. I laminated this sheet music in the hopes that I can pass it on to my children one day. Playing the piano keeps the memory of these women and their loving spirits alive!

If you are a piano fan check out the Sara Gassman Foundation’s Mother’s Day article from last year by clicking here.

Seminar Announcement
Don’t Skip (Fox) and Alan Gassman in Columbus, Ohio – JEST Enjoy It! Best Seminar Since 1492! and a Replay of Our Webinar for Physicians on What They Don’t Tell You in Medical School

On June 4th Alan Gassman will be speaking at the Ohio State Bar Association 25th Annual Conference of Wealth Transfer following a June 3 late afternoon/early evening panel discussion hosted by Johnson Investment Counsel and The Ohio State University

The agenda for the conference is as follows:

June 4, 2014

7:45 am            Registration/Continental Breakfast

8:00 am            Welcome/Introductions

William A. Morse, Esq.; Attorney at Law; Worthington (Program Planning Chair)

Nancy Koerner, J.D.; Director of Development, The Ohio State University; Columbus

Joyce A. Waters; Director of Business Development, Private Client Group, Johnson

Investment Counsel; Columbus

8:15 am            Recent Developments

Charles “Skip” Fox, IV, Esq.; McGuire Woods LLP; Charlottesville, Va.

This session will include commentary on marital planning, gifts, grantor trusts, asset protection, portability, generation skipping tax and charitable planning.

9:45 am            Structuring Joint Exempt Step-Up Trusts (JESTs)

Alan S. Gassman, Esq.; Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo, P.A.; Clearwater, Fl.

With the increased federal estate tax exclusion, it may be time to   reconsider “joint” trusts for

married couples.  Alan co-authored two articles in the October and November issues of Estate Planning Magazine about Joint Exempt Step Up Trusts (JESTs), and will talk about maximizing stepped-up basis planning, fully funding Credit  Shelter Trusts with joint assets, and other practical aspects of JESTs  with forms

10:35 am          Break

10:50 am          Must We Trust a Trust That’s Just a Crust That Wast a Trust?

Charles “Skip” Fox, IV, Esq.

What some view as “un-trust-like” notions—protectors, selectors, advisors, appointers, special

trustees, directed trusts, secret trusts, virtual representation, in terrorem forfeitures, perpetual

trusts and  decanting—will be examined with some forms included.

11:40 am          Planning with Commercial Annuities

Alan S. Gassman, Esq.

This session will discuss planning with fixed and variable annuities, covering common policy

features, misunderstanding about “guaranteed” rates of return, the minimum distribution rules akin to the IRA rules, income taxation of annuities on the death of the owner or annuitant, and trusts as holders of annuity contracts.

12:30 pm          Lunch (provided)

1:30 pm            Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT)

Dominic J. Campisi, Esq.; Evans Latham & Campisi; San Francisco, CA.

Dom Campisi, a fiduciary litigation specialist, will discuss why he believes MPT is no longer “Modern,” but is now a crippled theory; the need to “document” the exercise of discretion; and why taking “risks” to increase income is a dangerous position.

2:40 pm            Self-Cancelling Installment Notes (SCINS)

Analysis of the structure and tax advantages of SCINS, contexts for use in planning, recent IRS rulings and their impact on SCINS, interest rates used, using SCINS in combination with other planning techniques and important considerations and risks attendant to SCINS will be discussed.

3:40 pm            Break

3:55 pm            Fiduciary Liability

Dominic J. Campisi, Esq.

Multiple recent fiduciary liability cases will be discussed, including why ignoring the circumstances of the beneficiary can lead to censure and damages – even if your trustee client is only handling investments for a special needs beneficiary; the measure of damages in failure to diversify cases; why conflicts of interest in investments are a major source of surcharge; and the duty to inform the “sprinkle” beneficiary of his/her rights.

5:00 pm            Conference Concludes

For more information on the conference please click here

The New Doctor’s Guide to Wealth Building, Creditor Protection, Trust Planning, and What They Didn’t Tell You in Medical School

On Wednesday, April 30 we held a Part 1 of a webinar for new doctors on What They Didn’t Tell You in Medical School.  If you would like to watch a replay of that webinar please email Janine Gunyan at

Part 2 of the webinar has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. To register for the webinar please click here and email any questions you have to Alan Gassman at  We hope to “see” you there.

Upcoming Seminars and Webinars


Alan Gassman will be speaking at the Florida Bar Annual Wealth Protection Seminar on How I Structure an Integrated Income, Estate Tax, and Asset Protection Family Plan as well as participating in a panel discussion with Barry Engel, Jerry Hesch and Denis Kleinfeld on What Are the Ethical, Legal and Administrative Liability Exposures in Wealth Protection Planning and How Do We Protect Ourselves.

Date: Thursday, May 8, 2014

Location: Hyatt Regency Downtown, Miami, Florida

Additional Information: For more information and to register please visit



Alan Gassman will be speaking at the Ohio Conference on two different topics: 1) Wealth Transfer on Structuring Joint Exempt Step-Up Trusts (“JESTs”): Maximizing Stepped-Up Basis Planning, Fully Funding Credit Shelter Trusts with Joint Assets and Practical and Technical Aspects Thereof – With Forms and 2) Planning with Commercial Annuities.  Mr. Gassman will also be participating in a panel discussion the evening before hosted by Johnson Investment Counsel and The Ohio State University.

Date: June 4, 2014

Location: Hilton at Easton, Columbus, Ohio

Additional Information:  For more information on the conference and to register for the conference please contact



Alan Gassman, Ken Crotty and David Archer will be presenting a free 30 minute webinar on what is new with our EstateView software which will be featured later this year in Jason Havens’ American Bar Association RPTE Probate and Property column.

Speakers: Alan Gassman, Ken Crotty and David Archer

Date: Monday, June 9, 2014 | 12:30 p.m.

Location: Online webinar

Additional Information: To register for the webinar please visit



Speaker: Alan S. Gassman, Esq., Colleen Flynn, Esq. and Dr. Stephanie Thomason

This is a very practical guide that your office manager is sure to enjoy.  Let us know if you would like to see Alan Gassman’s slides for this presentation.

Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Location: Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting Online webinar

Additional Information:  For more information, to register and a discount code please email



Alan S. Gassman will be speaking at the FICPA Suncoast Chapter’s monthly meeting on FLORIDA ESTATE PLANNING AND LAW TECHNIQUES THAT CPAS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

Speaker: Alan S. Gassman

Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. (100 minute presentation)

Location: Feather Sound Country Club, Clearwater, Florida

Additional Information:  For more information, to register and a discount code please email



Alan Gassman will be speaking at the FICPA Annual Accounting Show on Thursday, September 18, 2014 on the topic of ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO BASIC TRUST PLANNING for 50 minutes.

This presentation will introduce basic and intermediate trust planning background and provide attendees with an orderly list of the most commonly used trusts, practical features and traps for the unwary, including revocable, irrevocable and hybrid.  The discussion will include tax, creditor protection and probate and guardian considerations.

Date: Wednesday, September 17 through Friday, September 19, 2014

Location: TBD

Additional Information:  For more information about this program please contact Stephanie Thomas at



Alan Gassman will be the sole speaker for this informative 3 hour program entitled WHAT NEW JERSEY LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLORIDA LAW

Date: Saturday, October 4, 2014

Location:  TBD

Additional Information: This is a repeat of the same program that we gave last year, but our book is now updated for the new Florida LLC law and changes in estate and trust law.  Please tell all of your friends, neighbors and enemies in New Jersey to come out to support this important presentation for the New Jersey Bar Association.  We will include discussions of airboats, how to get an alligator off of your driveway, how to peel a navel orange and what collard greens and grits are. For additional information please email



Please send us your questions, comments and suggestions for Alan Gassman’s talk on Planning with Variable Annuities.

This presentation will cover the unique income tax and financial planning characteristics of fixed and variable annuities, and provide estate and tax planners with a number of strategies for understanding and planning with existing and contemplated contracts. With over One Trillion Dollars of US taxpayer money invested in annuity contracts, more and more clients are showing up in their estate planners offices with large annuity contracts and common misunderstandings about “guaranteed income” and “guaranteed rates of return” features.  The presentation will cover common policy features, what is actually happening inside of a policy, illustration techniques, and changes that can be made to defer income tax and reduce overall tax liability.   Minimum distribution rules akin to the IRA and pension Section 409A rules and common carrier practices will also be discussed.

Date:November 13 and 14, 2014

Location: Century Center, South Bend, Indiana

We welcome questions, comments and suggestions on variable annuities, which will be Alan Gassman’s topic for this conference.

Additional Information: The focus of this year’s institute will be on “Business Succession Planning: An Income Tax, Estate Tax and Financial Analysis.”  As in past years, several sessions are designed to evaluate certain financial products and tax planning techniques so that the audience can better understand and evaluate these proposals in determining not only the tax and financial advantages they offer, but also evaluate limitations and problems they may cause in the future.  Given that fewer clients will need high-end estate tax planning with the $5 million exemptions, other sessions will address concerns that all clients have.  For example, a session will describe scams that target elderly individuals and how to protect the elderly from these scams.  As part of the objective on refreshing or introducing the audience to areas that can expand their practice, other sessions will review the income tax consequences of debt cancellation, foreclosures, short sales, the special concerns that arise in bankruptcy and various planning available to eliminate the cancellation of debt income or at least defer it with a possible step-up basis at death.  The Institute will also continue to have sessions devoted to income tax planning techniques that clients can use immediately instead of waiting to save estate taxes far in the future.



Alan Gassman will once again be speaking at the Ave Maria School of Law Estate Planning Conference in Naples, Florida, whether he is invited or not!  Hats off to Jonathan Gopman, Karen Grebing and many others for having hosted one of the most enjoyable conferences in 2014.

Date: Friday, May 1, 2015

Location: Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

Additional Information: Please contact Karen Grebing at for more information.




Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015

Location: St. Petersburg, FL

Additional Information: Please contact Alan Gassman at for more information.



Date: Wednesday through Friday, April 22 – 24, 2015

Location: TBD

Additional Information: Please contact Alan Gassman 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.

May2014 Annual 0.33% Annual 1.93% Annual 3.27%
Semi-Annual 0.33% Semi-Annual 1.92% Semi-Annual 3.24%
Quarterly 0.33% Quarterly 1.92% Quarterly 3.23%
Monthly 0.33% Monthly 1.91% Monthly 3.22%
April 2014 Annual 0.28% Annual 1.81% Annual 3.32%
Semi-Annual 0.28% Semi-Annual 1.80% Semi-Annual 3.29%
Quarterly 0.28% Quarterly 1.80% Quarterly 3.28%
Monthly 0.28% Monthly 1.79% Monthly 3.27%
March 2014 Annual 0.28% Annual 1.84% Annual 3.36%
Semi-Annual 0.28% Semi-Annual 1.83% Semi-Annual 3.33%
Quarterly 0.28% Quarterly 1.83% Quarterly 3.32%
Monthly 0.28% Monthly 1.82% Monthly 3.31%

The 7520 rate for May is 2.4% and for April was 2.2%