Welcome to Blueprint for Wealth! I created this web site to help you and your friends, family and colleagues realize your personal dreams of wealth and freedom by providing you with educational content on legal developments in the areas of estate planning, tax planning and business planning. The site contains articles, videos and podcasts of interest in each of these areas. If you need legal advice or legal assistance, please call me at 703-218-2177 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See Disclaimer.
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- A Primer on a Trustee’s Powers The following is excerpted from Wayne M. Zell’s “Blueprint for Wealth – Successor Trustee Manual”. To purchase a copy of the manual, click here. A Trustee’s powers are dependent mainly on the terms of the Trust document. (In your Revocable Living Trust, your primary Trustee powers can be found under the section of the Trust entitled, “My Trustee Powers”; other, more specific powers can be found in various other sections throughout the Trust.) Your Trustee powers are also dependent somewhat on state law, which may supplement or even in some cases override certain provisions of the Trust. Listed below are the Trustee powers ... Read more
- You Have Been Named as Trustee for a Living Trust — Now What? By Wayne M. Zell You have recently been named as trustee for the trust of a family member or for that of a close friend. What does this mean? What should you do to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out completely after their death? Although this may initially produce some anxiety on your part, having a clear understanding about your role will provide clarity and help you easily fulfill your responsibilities. As a Trustee, you have the legal status of a “fiduciary.” This means that you are acting on behalf of others (the Trust beneficiaries) and you owe them ... Read more
- Estate Planning Tips for Childfree Individuals and Couples By: Wayne Zell Childfree individuals or couples may face unique choices, decisions, and questions regarding their estate and financial planning. Along with buying a house and doing better than your parents, handing down your accumulated wealth to children is a long-held tradition that many consider the cornerstone of the American dream. As a childfree individual or couple, what are the choices, decisions, and questions that you should consider for estate planning? For many reasons, childfree individuals and couples are a steadily growing percentage of those seeking estate planning and financial services today. Yet, you need not believe that your planning needs are vastly ... Read more
- Buy-sell Agreements Now that you have your business succession plan in place, you will want to create an agreement that dictates what happens to the business and your ownership interest if you can no longer continue as an owner-operator. You and your surviving owners and managers will want to ensure continuity of ownership and management of the business after you are gone. At the same time, everyone will want to ensure that the cash flow needs of the business are not strained by funding your buy-out, while you will want to protect your family by leaving them fair compensation for your share ... Read more
- Realities of Phantom Stock and SAR’s In recent years, many of my clients have asked me to assist them in creating “synthetic equity” plans for their companies. They offer these incentives in lieu of more traditional employee ownership structures, such as stock options, restricted stock or other “real” equity incentives. In other words, the owners want to share the upside or growth in the business with employees without sharing true ownership. In a corporation, we typically refer to these arrangements as phantom stock or stock appreciation rights plans. In a limited liability company or partnership, we refer to them as phantom unit or equity appreciation rights plans. ... Read more
- Buy-Sell Agreements Now that you have your business succession plan in place, you will want to create an agreement that dictates what happens to the business and your ownership interest if you can no longer continue as an owner-operator. You and your surviving owners and managers will want to ensure continuity of ownership and management of the business after you are gone. At the same time, everyone will want to ensure that the cash flow needs of the business are not strained by funding your buy-out, while you will want to protect your family by leaving them fair compensation for your share ... Read more
- Five Steps to Business Succession Planning You already may have resolved to create and monitor your business plan and develop a succession plan for your business. The first part of the resolution is fairly easy to achieve. After all, everyone with a business needs a business plan. But few of us really consider what would happen to our business – and our families, our employees and their families – if something happens to us. They might be left without adequate resources to survive or the ability to have jobs or continue generating income. The fear of something bad happening to our families or staff should be sufficient motivation for ... Read more
- Portability and Married Couples: No Downside? By Wayne M. Zell As a married couple, you need to know that portability laws and the opportunities that they create have significantly increased. No longer is the standard credit shelter trust (with QTIP or outright distribution to spouse) the only way for married couples to plan. Now, you have a larger and more complex set of circumstances to consider in determining whether your estate plan should be credit shelter or portability based. The best news is that, other than having to file a federal estate tax return (Form 706), there is limited downside to including portability in a plan. Quick Review Portability was ... Read more
- What You Need to Know – How to Avoid a Basis Management Disaster By Wayne M. Zell When it comes to estate planning, many people who set out with the best of intentions make a mess of the estate plan after the fact. Take the example of the widow who has already transferred her house into her children’s names, or an inherited IRA is drained that is to pay for a Porsche. The lost planning opportunity and the financial fallout is universally gut wrenching. Please feel welcome to use the below facts and scenarios in your estate planning, conversations, and personal education. Consider these facts and information as a “red flag” list of tax pitfalls ... Read more
- Nancy Popovich Discusses The Wise Investor Group on Blueprint for Wealth Please join Wayne M. Zell, Esq. for his interview of Nancy Popovich, Director of The Wise Investor Group, and her insight into the value investing approach taken by this popular wealth management firm. Read more