Over the last two decades, I have had the opportunity to work for several large financial institutions in Boston and Portland. Along the way, I have attended more investment meetings than I could possibly count – on everything from corporate bond funds to complicated variable annuity income riders – and heard hundreds of investment managers wax eloquently about why their investment tool was better than the next firm’s offering. At this stage of my career, I do not expect to walk out of these meetings feeling inspired about some new investment strategy, let alone the future of our little planet. This week’s 3×5 Partners’ Annual Meeting did just that, and then some. Read more
Like a lot of Portlanders, I’ve recently spent a bit of money on fans and a portable air conditioning unit. Whether the hot streak is attributable to man-made climate change or merely to seasonal temperature spikes, the result is the same: sweaty days and uncomfortable nights.
There is nothing more terrifying to a young attorney than making a clerical error that ends up wasting a lot of the senior partners’ billable time. This is a difficult risk to manage, as every case has its own set of issues and deadlines, many of which the firm may be liable for if not handled properly. The one that got me as a young associate attorney was a missed estate tax deadline. Thankfully for me, so many attorneys across the country made the same error (and continue to do so), that the IRS has provided a “do-over” for all estates of individuals who have passed away since 2011. With the new IRS rules now in place, this error never would have happened. Read more
(spoiler alert for Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Sports fans have recently seen the impact trust laws have firsthand, as the control of one of the NBA’s marquis franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers, has been determined by the trust which owns a majority share in the team. Most of the clients we work with own assets far less unique than an NBA franchise; however, the end result is the same no matter the asset – a properly drafted trust with appropriately designated trustees is one vehicle that may allow for the smooth transition of property from one generation to the next. Read more
The estate of Michael Jackson has been in the news lately, as the attorneys representing the estate recently spent some time in tax court arguing with the IRS. Their disagreement is based on the value of the late singer’s name and likeness, specifically what the fair market value was (on the day he died) for the rights to commercialize Mr. Jackson’s image and name. Read more
When an asset is transferred via sale or at death, one of the critical (and often misunderstood) questions is, “how is the asset titled?” There are three general ways individuals hold assets: in their own name, via contract, and by operation of law. Analyzing the manner in which assets are held, and the implications of these ownership types, is a cornerstone of financial and estate planning for the transfer of assets to the next generation. Read more