Last Week in Estate Planning (August 21 to August 27, 2011)

August 30, 2011
300px Canada Court System.svg 2 Last Week in Estate Planning (August 21 to August 27, 2011)

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One thing I enjoy about most of the top estate planning blogs is that they go to the trouble of citing others’ fine work.  In this week’s top 10 posts and articles, you will find several examples of this praiseworthy practice.

Top Posts and Articles of the Week

Post of the Week

Be Mindful of Potential Pitfalls When Drafting a Will, Megan Connolly, Toronto Trusts and Estates Monitor.

  • Ms. Connolly’s post concisely summarizes a report from LAWPRO (a leading Canadian professional liability insurance firm).  It cites common mistakes made by lawyers when drafting a will, with special attention to lawyers who “dabble” in estate planning.
  • While the post is primarily written for Canadian attorneys, the errors Ms. Connolly covers are certainly common in the United States as well.
  • Her post is an excellent warning to both lawyers who may be underestimating the complexities of estate planning law and the consumers who hire them.

Honorable Mentions

AICPA to IRS – Please Give Us 90 Days to File 2010 & 2011 Form 706 and Form 8939, Julie Garber, Esq., About Wills & Estate Planning.

  • A brief report discussing how CPAs are asking the IRS for more time to file the two forms mainly used to report clients’ estate tax liabilities and tax basis increases.

Current Opportunities for Gifting to Children, Adam Bair, Wealth Strategies Journal 2.0 – citing Linda Stern, Stern Advice: Once in a Lifetime Gifting Opportunities,

Estate Planning Benefits in a Volatile Market, Prof. Gerry Beyer, Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog – citing How Volatility Eases Estate Planning, Kelly Greene, The Wall Street Journal.

  • Discusses various advantages of gifting lower-valued assets to younger beneficiaries this year while the gift tax exemption remains at $5 million per person.

How to Convince Your Spouse to Get Started with Estate Planning, Candice Aiston, Esq., Oregon Estate Planning Blog.

Potential Portability Perils, Kyle Krull, Esq., Kansas & Missouri Estate Planning Blog.

  • Mr. Krull illustrates how the new “portability” laws still do not eliminate the need for proper estate planning.

Tennessee Lady Vol’s Pat Summit Diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia, Lambros Politis, Esq., The Spencer Law Group PS Blog.

The Price of Not Having a Simple Will, Rania Combs, Esq., Texas Wills and Trusts Law Online Blog – citing My Story:  Why People Need Wills, Don McNay, The Huffington Post.

  • Every so often, a fairly prominent reporter will relate a personal story that “shows him the light” about why we all need some estate planning.  Ms. Combs shares Mr. McNay’s realizations in this post.


Article on Private Placement Life Insurance, Prof. Gerry Beyer, Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof Blog – citing “An Overlooked Asset Protection and Investment Tool?”, Alan Jahde, Esq., Colorado Bar Magazine (link is provided on Prof. Beyer’s site).

  • Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) is a form of variable universal life insurance that emphasizes the maximization of cash values in the policy.  PPLI is “specifically designed for and offered exclusively to high net worth clients”.
  • This article defines PPLI policies and how they can be effectively used as an estate planning and asset protection tool.

Estate Planning for Non-traditional Families, Prof. Gerry Beyer, Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof Blog – citing Planning for Non-Traditional Families, Wendy S. Goffe, Esq., 46th Annual Advanced Ali-Aba Summer Program.

Please feel free to nominate any top estate planning posts or articles for the week of July 24 to July 30, 2011 in the Comments section below.  Have a great week!

 Last Week in Estate Planning (August 21 to August 27, 2011)
 Last Week in Estate Planning (August 21 to August 27, 2011)


Scott R. Zucker, Esq. is the owner of The Zucker Law Firm PLLC, located just outside the Capital Beltway in Annandale, within five miles of the City of Fairfax, the county seat of beautiful Fairfax County, Virginia. The firm focuses mainly on estate planning services for Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania clientele, and seeks to do so in an affordable and approachable way. People interested in learning more can contact Scott by phone or email.

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