Financial Planning

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Foreign Nationals Spent $153 Billion in 2017 on U.S. Residential Real Estate: 4 Ways to Identity Them

The Foreign Nationals market is a large one if its appetite for all manner of U.S. real estate is any indication of size.

Consider that foreigners spent $153 billion in 2017 on U.S. residential real estate, or approximately 285,000 properties; this represents 10% of all of the U.S.’s existing home sales in 2017.  The majority of home purchases by foreigners were made in Florida, California, Texas, New Jersey and Arizona, by buyers from China, Canada, U.K., Mexico and India.  


Top 5 Responsibilities of An ILIT Trustee: The Importance of Policy Reviews

An ILIT is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, created primarily to own life insurance, and sometimes other assets. The trustee of an ILIT is the fiduciary of the trust assets. The trustee can be a family member (who is not the creator or ‘grantor’ of the trust), or an independent trustee at a bank, for example. Regardless of who is named trustee, the trustee has a fiduciary responsibility to manage assets for the benefit of trust beneficiaries.


3 Options for Dealing with Policy Loans

While conducting a policy review, advisors may uncover an older policy that has accumulated considerable cash value from which a significant loan was taken. On many of the older policies, if the loan remains, it may cause the policy to lapse prematurely. Not only will the policy lapse, but in the event the loaned policy has a gain on it, there will be taxes due. In this scenario, there are 3 options:


Keeping It ‘All in the Family’ with Life Insurance: Post 2017 Tax Act

Even after passage of the 2017 Tax Act, several common estate planning techniques that work well with low interest rates continue to be helpful for ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) families to transfer legacies to future generations at minimal income, gift, estate and other transfer tax costs.  Even more importantly, and despite the estate tax cuts under the new tax act—which are set to expire in 2026– many affluent families, UHNW or not, desire liquidity for needs other than taxes– such as to repay debt, buy-out assets from one another, to equalize an inheritance, take care of a special need or circumstance, transfer a business interest, or even to replace wealth transferred to charity, for example.  To these ends, life insurance continues to work swimmingly with these strategies to create family liquidity efficiently.  Each of the approaches may have some of the following effects:

  • Discounting, if not completely eliminating, the value of the transfer for tax purposes;
  • Freezing an asset’s appreciation so it remains outside the taxable estate, creating an opportunity for additional tax-free gifts of the appreciation to be made;
  • Leveraging an asset’s income to create estate liquidity;
  • Minimizing income taxes by preserving basis, and;
  • Addressing non-tax issues, such as equalization, buy-outs, special circumstances and money management.

The 2017 Tax Act- An Overview Part II: Potential Winners & Losers

Lina Storm, CLU®, ChFC®, MBA- Vice President, Field Marketing at Highland Capital Brokerage follows up with additional insights into the new tax law with “The 2017 Tax Act- An Overview: Part 2.”

Over the next year many of the new complex rules of the Tax Act will be tested, after which the actual winners and losers will be revealed. Part 2 of our Tax Reform Spotlight explores these possible winners and losers and offers some context for your clients.

Learn more about what the 2017 Tax Act means for you and your clients- Download Now!


The 2017 Tax Act: An Overview Part I

The 2017 Tax Act brought sweeping changes for families and businesses. It will take some time before we see the full impact of tax reform given its complexities and limitations. Except for the corporate tax rate and several other provisions, the new tax rules are set to expire effective 2026 and will revert back to what they were before the 2017 Tax Act went into effect. Part 1 of the Tax Reform Spotlight series will provide a general overview of the new law.


Highland’s Bob Finnegan On “Hedging Against Threats to Wealth”

Bob Finnegan, Sr. Vice President, Advanced Planning Attorney with Highland Capital Brokerage spoke to an audience of high end financial advisors at the Elite Financial Advisor Conference on January 11 hosted by Janney Montgomery Scott. Bob addressed how current planning tools that were not adversely affected by the new 2017 tax act are ideally flexible and particularly suited to help clients hedge against all the threats to wealth, not just taxes—regardless of what happens in Washington.


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