Walt’s Week in Review: October 14th – 19th

Here are the highlights from my daily blog for last week.  If you’d like to read any blog in its entirety, just click on the link provided.  Enjoy!!

 ImagesCARC7J6TSunday, October 14, 2012 

Many people start businesses with partners, often so they can benefit from the others' expertise, connections and finances. But sometimes one founder concludes over time that the relationship is flawed and parting ways would be best. 

Every beginning has an end, just as every business partnership will eventually expire.  Whether the conclusion of the partnership is by choice, health problems, or death, one should have a plan in place to keep things amicable.  The best business plan: begin with the end in mind.   To view this entire blog post click here. 
Reference: The Wall Street Journal (September 22, 2012) “Breaking Up (With a Co-Founder) Is Hard to Do”    

Monday, October 15, 2012  Girl with gift.images 

The number isn't yet official—and won't be until later this year when the Internal Revenue Service will announce this and many other inflation adjustments. But it comes from two highly reliable sources.
In a time of political change and laws that may be shifting, the word is out on the annual gift tax exclusion.  It has been projected to rise for the first time since 2009. The lesson to be learned here is that if, as they say charity begins at home and now you can be even more generous!  To view this entire blog post click here. 
Reference: The Wall Street Journal (September 29, 2012) “Expect Gift Limit to Rise Next Year

   Tuesday, October 16, 2012  

For whatever reason, the aging parents have been bailing him or her out for decades.  What brings this to a crisis point is when a parent’s health fails or a parent passes away.  Then what? 
When you think of a family “freeloader”, generally what comes to mind is that 'child' that never grew up, who makes absolutely no effort to be self-sufficient.  While it's true, their parents share the blame, always footing the bill and enabling this behavior it still creates discontentment among family members.  The family's ne're-do-well becomes an even greater source of family strife as those same parents begin to age and can either not longer support the child, or worse, their support compromises their ability to finance their own rising  healthcare costs.  Turns out the family's freeloader is even more destructive than you thought.   To view this entire blog post click here. 
Reference: Forbes (September 16, 2012) “What Siblings Need to Do About Aging Parents and The Family Freeloader

Wednesday, October 17, 2012Flying

Maintaining up-to-date estate plans is crucial to taking advantage of the benefits of advanced planning …

While you are living, essentially your estate plan is living too.  And just as your life is evolving, your estate plan should change accordingly.

Unfortunately, Congress and the White House are constantly shifting. As a result, your estate plan must adapt, improvise and overcome. For wealthy families in particular, many of their estate plans are simply out of date, and that’s not something you can afford to let slide.  Get with the program: your estate plan must adapt, improvise and overcome.                         To view this entire blog post click here.        

Reference: Private Wealth (September 25, 2012) “Estate Plans Of Rich Families Out Of Date, Survey Says

Thursday, October 18, 2012


In January 1999, a trust set up by Mitt Romney for his children and grandchildren reaped a 1,000 percent return on the sale of shares in Internet advertising firm DoubleClick Inc.

If Romney had given the cash directly, he could have owed a gift tax at a rate as high as 55 percent. He avoided gift and estate taxes by using a type of generation-skipping trust known to tax planners by the nickname: “I Dig It.”

All politics aside, one could learn a thing or two from Mitt Romney’s estate planning when it comes to transferring wealth. One particularly interesting instrument he made use of was the “Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust,” or IDGT. There you have it, tax planning strategies from the rich and famous; who better to learn from?                                                                To view this entire blog post click here. 

Reference: Bloomberg (September 27, 2012) “Romney ‘I Dig It’ Trust Gives Heirs Triple Benefit

Friday, October 19, 2012

If Congress fails to act, 14.7 million U.S. households would have a potential estate tax liability. The average tax due for these families would be $1.4 million, LIMRA states.
As we approach the end of 2012, you may be wondering if the Bush-era tax laws will expire come 2013.  Have you done everything to ensure your estate plan will be able to survive a tumble off the tax cliff?
When it comes to the “default” 2013 estate tax, some 12.5% of U.S. households may come under the estate tax axe, according to new analysis by LIMRA. These numbers were picked up and reported by LifeHealthPRO and reported in its article titled, “LIMRA: More than 1 in 8 U.S. households may owe estate tax in 2013.
This change in the estate tax exemption limit scoops up a huge new group of taxpayers in its dragnet who otherwise might not have been subject to the estate tax axe. In fact, many in this new group of estate tax taxpayers have not previously found themselves at the top of the wealth pyramid. So, how is this possible?  Morale of this story?  The only way most of us can fall off this fiscal tax cliff is to volunteer!                                                                          To view this entire blog post click here. 

Join me every day as I bring you estate planning topics of interest to you and those you love.

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.