Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘estate planning’

Why Are Many Baby Boomer Retirees Worried?

Posted by William Byrnes on April 21, 2014


“The 10,000 baby boomer that reach retirement age each day in America are waking up to the probability that they will outspend their retirement plan designed twenty or thirty years ago, forcing a drastic reduction in quality of life style for the ‘golden years’” revealed William Byrnes, author of National Underwriter’s Tax Facts.

“By example, social security increases since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, when many Baby Boomers crafted their family retirement plans, did not keep up with the actual inflation.  Also, baby boomers are outliving their retirement plans by ten or more years”, continued William Byrnes.  “Stretching the retirement savings available for an additional twenty years of life expectancy requires correctly managing the complex retirement taxation rules established by Congress and the IRS.”

Robert Bloink added, “Baby boomers retirement taxation questions include: How are earnings on an IRA taxed? What is the penalty for making excessive contributions to an IRA? How are amounts distributed from a traditional and from a ROTH IRA taxed?  How is the required minimum distribution (RMD) calculated?”

“By example of managing the retirement taxation rules, if the baby boomer engages in a prohibited transaction with his IRA, his or her individual retirement account may cease to qualify for the tax benefits.  Thus, then baby boomer needs to understand what is a prohibited transaction?  When can the baby boomer tax pull retirement funds as a loan from a retirement account or policy without it being prohibited?”

“For complex modern families with multiple marriages and various children, a retirement and estate planner should analyze the non-probate assets”, interjected Dr. George Mentz.  “Such assets may include the client’s 401k, 403b, 459, annuities, property and joint tenancy, among others.  Regarding insurance policy designations, the client may need to reexamine the beneficiaries, contingent and secondary, and percentages among them, based on current circumstances.”

“Because client’s are outliving their life expectancy and thus outliving their retirement planning, and medical expenses certainly factor into retirement planning, long term care for family members must also be addressed,” said William Byrnes.  “Moreover, recent press has focused client’s attention on tragic incident and end of life issues, such as a durable power of attorney for health care (DPA/HC), living will, or advance directives that explain the patient’s wishes in certain medical situations.  Finally in this regard, a client may require a Limited Powers of Attorney to address situations of incapacity, as well as orderly continuation of immediate family needs upon death.“

Robert Bloink included, “Other important issues to address with the client include pre-marital property contracts/pre-nuptials involving the second marriage(s), IRA beneficiary planning in blended families, spousal lifetime access trust (SLATs), and planning for unmarried domestic partners.”

tax-facts-online_medium

Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M., and William H. Byrnes, Esq., LL.M., CWM®—are delivering real-life guidance based on decades of experience.” said Rick Kravitz.  The authors’ knowledge and experience in tax law and practice provides the expert guidance for National Underwriter to once again deliver a valuable resource for the financial advising community.

Anyone interested can try Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business, risk-free for 30 days, with a 100% guarantee of complete satisfaction.  For more information, please go to www.nationalunderwriter.com/TaxFactsIndividuals or call 1-800-543-0874.

 Authoritative and easy-to-use, 2014 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits shows you how the tax law and regulations are relevant to your insurance, employee benefits, and financial planning practices.  Often complex tax law and regulations are explained in clear, understandable language.  Pertinent planning points are provided throughout.

2014 Tax Facts on Investments provides clear, concise answers to often complex tax questions concerning investments.  2014 expanded sections on Limitations on Loss Deductions, Charitable Gifts, Reverse Mortgages, and REITs.

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11 more annuity tax facts you need to know

Posted by William Byrnes on April 14, 2014


An annuity is a complicated beast — and during tax season, your clients’ questions can pile up faster than hospitality complaints from the crowds at Sochi. How are payments under a variable immediate annuity taxed? When is the exchange of one annuity contract for another a nontaxable exchange? Read on to find answers to these and other queries.

1. What general rules govern the income taxation of payments received under annuity contracts?

read on at LifeHealthPro

LifeHealthPro.com is the vital online destination for life & health insurance advisors, designed to provide them with the essential elements they need to run their practice and increase their bottom line including breaking news, market trends, practice tips and more.

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12 more estate planning tax facts you need to know

Posted by William Byrnes on April 8, 2014


Estate planning is a complicated business. Before you sit down with clients, find out what Uncle Sam will demand if a life insurance policy or an annuity is part of their estate, or part of a recent inheritance.

1. When are death proceeds of life insurance includable in an insured’s gross estate?

They are includable in the following four situations: … Read all 12 Tax Fact estate planning tips at LifeHealthPro

LifeHealthPro.com is the vital online destination for life & health insurance advisors, designed to provide them with the essential elements they need to run their practice and increase their bottom line including breaking news, market trends, practice tips and more.

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10 estate planning tax facts you need to know

Posted by William Byrnes on April 7, 2014


The fiscal cliff deal cleared up every estate planning tax question ever, right? Or not. Because for as much fanfare as the new estate tax received, there are still a lot of sticky tax-related questions out there.

Like what, exactly, constitutes an estate?

Do life insurance proceeds count?

What about employer-provided income benefits?

How are annuities treated?

Here are 10 big estate planning tax questions, answered.  Read on at LifeHealthPro

LifeHealthPro.com is the vital online destination for life & health insurance advisors, designed to provide them with the essential elements they need to run their practice and increase their bottom line including breaking news, market trends, practice tips and more.

 

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Incidents of Ownership and Burden on the Estate

Posted by William Byrnes on August 12, 2013


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers?   Discusses estate tax considerations in regards to life insurance policies.  Also, includes a detailed dialogue of the incidents of ownership concept. 

What do most wealth managers try to avoid when planning with life insurance and trusts?

That the Gross Estate for Estate Tax calculations would include the death benefit from the policy in the estate.[1]

What are some common ways to avoid this dilemma when using a trust and life insurance in regards to estate planning?[2]

The insured should never own the policy; “it should be owned from inception” by the trust or third party.

  • A trustee takes “all the actions to purchase the policy on the life of the insured”.
  • The trustee should be “authorized but not required to purchase insurance on the life of anyone whose life the trust’s beneficiaries have an insurable interest.”
  • The trust explicitly prohibits the insured from obtaining any interest whatsoever that the trust may purchase on the insured’s life.
  • The trust does not require, but rather permits the premium payments.
  • Trust is well funded, beyond that of one year of premium payments.
  • The trustee acts in the best interest of the beneficiaries.

A revisionary interest will give rise to incidence of ownership [3], which could include the insured’s right to; [4]

  • Cancel, assign or surrender the policy.
  • Obtain a loan on the cash value of the policy or pledge the policy as collateral for a loan.
  • Change the beneficiary, change contingent beneficiaries, change beneficiaries share of the proceeds.

When discussing incidents of ownership, naturally the 3 year rule should be further expounded.[5] “The 3-year ‘bring-back’ rule” is applicable, “with respect to dispositions of retained interests in property which otherwise would have been includable in the gross estate”.[6]  As discussed in AUS Main Libraries Section 8, C—Lifetime Gifts Of Insurance And Annuities-“Gifts Within Three Years Of Death, essentially, the rule as it applies to life insurance means that any policy transferred out of the estate of the insured within 3 years of his/her death, the policy proceeds are brought back into the gross estate for estate tax calculations.

It is generally accepted that “the trust should be established first, with a transfer of cash from the grantor to be used to pay the initial premium” or a few years of premiums.  “The trustee would then submit the formal application, with the trust as the original applicant and owner.”  Generally, the insured will “participate only to the extent of executing required health questionnaires and submitting to any required physical examination.”  Again the key is that the, “grantor/insured not have possessed at any time anything that might be deemed an incident of ownership with respect to the policy.” [7]

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The Not-So-Irrevocable Trust: Unlocking Trust Assets

Posted by William Byrnes on July 18, 2013


The “irrevocable” label might have some clients feeling like they are locked into previously established irrevocable trusts for life, which might not always be the case. There are many reasons why a client might remain interested in preserving an irrevocable trust, but after the fiscal cliff deal made the generous $5 million estate tax exemption and spousal portability permanent, there are equally strong reasons why a client might prefer to terminate. …

The choice to terminate will force clients to reevaluate insurance and other trust held assets and lead to what are often long overdue replacement or reallocation discussions.

When Can an Irrevocable Trust Be Terminated?

Read the full analysis at ThinkAdvisorhttp://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/06/17/the-not-so-irrevocable-trust-unlocking-trust-asset

 

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my newest book: 2013 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits

Posted by William Byrnes on November 21, 2012


http://www.nationalunderwriter.com/2013-tax-facts-on-insurance-employee-benefits-269.html

Organized in a convenient Q&A format to speed you to the information you need, 2013 Tax Facts on Insurance & Employee Benefits delivers the latest guidance on:

  • Estate & Gift Tax Planning
  • Roth IRAs
  • HSAs
  • Capital Gains, Qualifying Dividends
  • Non-qualified Deferred Compensation Under IRC Section 409A
  • And much more!

Key updates for 2013:

  • Enhanced explanation of the Disclosure Regulations for Retirement Plan Service Providers
  • Expanded section on the taxation of annuities
  • More than 30 new Planning Points, written by practitioners for practitioners, in the following areas:
    • Life Insurance
    • Health Insurance
    • Federal Income Taxation
    • Estate Taxation

Plus, you’re kept up-to-date with online supplements for critical developments.

Posted in Estate Tax, Pensions, Retirement Planning, Taxation, Wealth Management | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The ticking estate tax time bomb

Posted by William Byrnes on November 21, 2012


For your clients who have been playing the wait-and-see game in estate planning this year, the time for waiting is over.   Absent congressional action, the current $5.12 million exemption will revert to $1 million in less than three months, and the current 35% maximum estate tax rate will jump to 55%.  The entire article is available at http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2012/10/17/the-ticking-estate-tax-time-bomb-less-than-90-days

 

Posted in Estate Tax, Pensions, Retirement Planning, Taxation, Trusts, Wealth Management | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

IRS QTIP Ruling: Perils of Future Changes

Posted by William Byrnes on August 25, 2011


Clients often want to use Qualified Terminal Interest Property trusts (QTIPs) to separate certain funds to care for a surviving spouse, while retaining some measure of control over the general distribution of the funds—whether they will be distributed to children or a charity. But navigating the QTIP rules as client’s circumstances naturally endure change can be cumbersome.  The danger exists when errors that seem trivial, result in eliminating any transfer tax benefit of the trust.

A recent IRS private letter ruling (PLR 201117005) provides us with a good reminder of the QTIP rules and an example of creative QTIP planning that provides the surviving spouse with adequate lifetime income while giving the grantor (and the surviving spouse) a degree of post-death control over disposition of the trust assets.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber)

For a graphic illustration of the QTIP trust, see the Concepts Illustrated practice aid at G—Credit Shelter Trust and QTIP Trust.

For coverage of QTIPs and other techniques useful in estate planning for blended families, see the Advisor’s Journal article Estate Planning for Blended Families (CC 07-16).

For in-depth analysis of marital deduction planning, see Advisor’s Main Library: G—The Marital Deduction.

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Tax-Free Hedge Fund Investment: Private Placement Insurance

Posted by William Byrnes on April 9, 2011


Is hedge fund investment without capital gains or estate taxation possible for your high net worth clients?  Yes, through the medium of private placement life insurance (“PPLI”).   Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of topics relevant to estate planning for high net worth clients in Advisor’s Journal, see High Net Worth Clients: How to Find Them, How to Service Them (CC 10-07).

For in-depth analysis of state tax laws that are favorable for PPLI purposes, see Advisor’s Main Library: Estate Planning and the State Premium Tax.

 

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Does the New Estate Tax Make the Bypass Trust Obsolete?

Posted by William Byrnes on January 17, 2011


President Obama’s tax compromise introduces a new estate tax concept for 2011 and 2012, the deceased spouse unused exclusion amount (DSUEA).  Essentially, the DSUEA allows a surviving spouse to utilize the unused exclusion amount of the first spouse to die.  The new law raises an important planning question: Is the bypass (credit shelter) trust obsolete as an estate planning device? Also: Do existing bypass trusts need to be amended in light of the new law?

In general, under the new estate tax, an estate’s exclusion amount, referred to as its applicable exclusion amount, is the sum of two components: the basic exclusion amount and the DSUEA. The basic exclusion amount for estates of decedents dying in 2011 and 2012 is $5 million. The second part of the equation, the DSUEA, is the amount of the first-to-die spouse’s exclusion amount that is not used by the that spouse’s estate. Note that a surviving spouse’s DSUEA is equal to the unused exclusion amount of the surviving spouse’s last deceased spouse.  Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of Obama’s tax agreement, including its estate tax provisions, in Advisor’s Journal, see Obama Tax Agreement Faces Stiff Resistance in Congress (CC 10-112) and Obama Tax Agreement Passed by House (CC 10-117).

For in-depth analysis of the estate tax, see Advisor’s Main Library: Estate, Gift and GST Taxes.

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The Future of Estate Planning under the Obama Tax Cuts

Posted by William Byrnes on January 11, 2011


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers? Presents discussion on the effect of the Obama Tax Cuts on the Estate Planning industry in general.  Also presents analysis regarding the estate tax burden on taxpayers.

The quintessential planning tool that many wealth managers relied on could easily become a thing of the past.  In other words, the Obama Tax cuts are creating concern for some wealth managers who sold life insurance to cover the tax of an estate at the death of the decedent. Sections 301-304 of the new law reinstated the estate tax, but nevertheless, created large exclusions, essentially removing the need for many to cover the estate tax burden with the purchase of life insurance.

Specifically, the applicable estate tax exclusion amount is $5 million under the law (and is indexed for inflation) for decedents dying in calendar years starting in 2011.  Married individuals’ will see a total exclusion of $10 million.  Furthermore, the new law reinstates the maximum estate tax rate of 35 percent.  To read this article excerpted above, access www.AdvisorFYI.com

 

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What’s Next for the Estate Tax?

Posted by William Byrnes on November 13, 2010


The estate tax is scheduled to explode in 2011. Analysts have assumed for years that Congress would act to fix the estate tax before it expired in 2010 and reverted to its pre-2001 levels in 2011, but it is looking more and more likely that the current Congress will hand the problem off to the next Congress on January 11, 2011.  Although movement during the lame duck session is possible, it is not likely to generate any positive action on the estate tax.

Whether Congress acts on the estate tax or not, 2011 will likely bring drastic changes to the estate tax, requiring your clients to do significant tinkering on their estate plans. In the interim, estate planning professionals will continue to use disclaimer planning as a stop gap measure to deal with 2010′ s estate tax uncertainty. For instance, rather than split an estate’s assets between credit shelter and marital deduction trusts—which is unnecessary when there is no estate tax—all of the assets are devised to the spouse or the marital deduction trust.  The surviving spouse can then disclaim up to the tax-free amount— … Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of the estate tax conundrum in Advisor�s Journal, see Estate Tax Chaos (CC 10-02).

For in-depth analysis of the federal estate tax, see Advisor�s Main Library: Section 2 A—Overview Of The Federal Estate Tax And Its Calculation.

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IRS Changes Value of Charitable Contributions Made by Trusts

Posted by William Byrnes on November 12, 2010


IRS Form 1040X, 2005 revision

Image via Wikipedia

Charitable contributions offer an opportunity to do good in the community while reaping tax benefits, but the tax benefit of a charitable contribution can be jeopardized by poor planning.  Especially challenging can be the structuring of contributions by complex trusts as illustrated by the recently released IRS ruling, ILM 201042023. 

There, a trust’s charitable contribution deduction was limited to the trust’s basis in the property;  a deduction was not permitted for unrealized appreciation of the donated property.  Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of the benefits of charitable giving, see Use Charitable Giving to Enhance Family Business Succession Planning (CC 10-76).

For in-depth analysis of the use of charitable giving in estate planning, see Advisor’s Main Library: F�Estate Planning Through Charitable Contributions.

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Unqualified Disclaimers Can Create an Unexpected Tax Bill

Posted by William Byrnes on October 27, 2010


A disclaimer in the estate planning context is a voluntary refusal to accept a gift from a will. A properly structured disclaimer can be a great tax planning technique, allowing the person making the disclaimer to pass a gift on to the next person in line—for instance, someone in the next generation—without being subject to the gift tax.  But a disclaimer should not be made lightly because a disclaimer that is not “qualified” for tax purposes can create serious gift tax consequences for the person making the disclaimer.

The danger of an improperly made disclaimer was clearly illustrated in a recent U.S. District Court, Estate of Tatum v. U.S. There, Son disclaimed his interest in the residue of his father`s estate. But because Son`s disclaimer was not a qualified disclaimer, Son was treated as if he received the gift and then made a taxable gift to his children, resulting in a gift tax bill for Son and his wife of over $1,600,000.

Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For in-depth analysis of qualified disclaimers, see the AUS Main Libraries Section 7 B1—What Transactions Constitute Taxable Gifts

 

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GRAT Strategy for Avoiding Gift on High Premium Payments May Be Coming to a Close

Posted by William Byrnes on October 18, 2010


Life insurance-based estate planning strategies for high-net-worth clients with estate liquidity issues run into the problem that premiums may be so high as to exhaust the client’s annual gift tax exclusion and lifetime exemption, resulting in unwanted gift tax exposure.  One way advanced planners have dealt with the gift tax problem of high premiums is through the use of a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT).  But the U.S. House recently passed a bill—H.R.4849, the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act of 2010—that would severely curtail the use of GRATs, so the utility of this technique may soon be eliminated.

To illustrate this technique while it remains open, let’s assume you have an unmarried client, Max, who owns a number of restaurant franchises. His estate will be worth about $12 million, most of which is tied up in his franchises and other illiquid investments. Max’s estate will need around $6 million in liquid death benefit to cover the pending estate tax liability.  Read today’s article in your Advisor’s Journal at GRAT Strategy (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For in-depth analysis of the topic of the use of GRATs, see Advisor’s Main Library Section 4. Estate Planning Techniques J—Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts

We invite your questions and comments by posting them below, or by calling the Panel of Experts.

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Revocable Trusts

Posted by William Byrnes on September 24, 2010


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers?   Provides a view with respect to revocable trust concepts and estate planning.  Presents identifying factors of the trust, what it’s commonly used for, as well as some of the benefits and detriments of its implementation. 

This week has mainly discussed the use of trusts with characteristics of complete transfers by grantors.  This edition will explore the revocable nature of trusts and how they are applicable to estate planning. 

The main difference between a revocable trust and one that is not, is that “the settlor reserves the right to terminate the trust and recover the trust property and any undistributed income.”  “The creation of a revocable living trust involves either the transfer of property to one or more trustees or the settlor’s declaration that he holds the property in trust for himself and that upon his death the property is to be held for other beneficiaries.”

For the complete blogticle and its analysis, see AdvisorFYI.

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Incidents of Ownership and Burden on the Estate

Posted by William Byrnes on September 22, 2010


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers?   Discusses estate tax considerations in regards to life insurance policies.  Also, includes a detailed dialogue of the incidents of ownership concept. 

What do most wealth managers try to avoid when planning with life insurance and trusts?

That the Gross Estate for Estate Tax calculations would include the death benefit from the policy in the estate.

What are some common ways to avoid this dilemma when using a trust and life insurance in regards to estate planning?

For the answer to this question, and planning analysis, see the blogticle at AdvisorFYI

Posted in Estate Tax, Insurance, Trusts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trusts that Purchase Life Insurance – Known Formally as the “Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust”

Posted by William Byrnes on September 21, 2010


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers?   The terminology associated with common estate planning techniques is generally misguided. Provides a better understanding of the tax and legal implications, on behalf of the client’s estate plans, of trusts that purchase life insurance

One commentator states “If the practitioner would examine either the Internal Revenue Code or the Treasury Regulation designed to interpret the Code, they will not find the use of the term ‘Insurance Trust’ or the term ‘ILIT.’” For a detailed analysis of the ILIT see the Main Library Section 4. Estate Planning Techniques H—Life Insurance Trusts. 

For the complete blogticle and its analysis, see AdvisorFYI

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The Wealth Manager’s Trust Basics

Posted by William Byrnes on September 21, 2010


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers?  Estate Planning almost always involves some consideration of legal trust(s).  It is essential that wealth managers understand the purpose for trusts and the ways trusts can be used in a comprehensive financial plan.  By example, ILITs can be “an effective estate planning device” because, “life insurance proceeds [are not included] in the insured’s estate.”

We invite you to read about some common uses of trust in estate planning, such as Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, and analysis at AdvisorFYI.

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Supporting a Surviving Second Spouse without Liquidating the Family Business

Posted by William Byrnes on September 20, 2010


When an adult child has an active role in the family business, how can a client pass that business to the managing child while still providing for the client’s surviving second wife?

Read the answer to this question and analysis by our Experts Robert Bloink and William Byrnes at AdvisorFX Journal Supporting a Surviving Second Spouse without Liquidating the Family Business.

After reading the analysis, we invite your questions and comments by posting them below, or by calling the Panel of Experts.

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National Underwriters Appoints New Leader of Financial Advisory Publications

Posted by William Byrnes on July 14, 2010


National Underwriters Establishes Go-To Service for Producers

Effective this summer, in order to embrace the changing landscape of the greatest wealth transfer in global history, National Underwriter/Summit Business Media is honored to announce that the renown professor, author, and financial services industry analyst William Byrnes will lead our financial advisory publications.  In an interview William Byrnes stated that “I will leverage community-comment blogging with innovative multimedia to deliver daily strategies for insurance producers and financial service regulatory updates for risk managers.  National Underwriters’ Advanced Underwriter Service®(AUS®) will emerge as the dominant go-to strategy service for the insurance/financial planning industry.” 

When asked how he intends to effectively connect AUS® strategic information with the needs of producers, Byrnes replied, “Through direct engagement with producers’ burning questions via the new AUS® Advisor blog, through my editorial panel of connected industry experts and enterprise-wide subscribers, and through feedback from the elected production leaders from the over 50,000 chartered wealth managers of the American Academy of Financial Management®.  National Underwriters will proactively educate the AUS subscribers about developing insurance and wealth management advisory strategies and sales techniques before the subscribers’ competitors hear about them via industry word of mouth.”

William Byrnes’ Background

Byrnes continued, “I have a lot of experience delivering cutting edge information to professionals seeking to better serve their clients and win business from the competition.  About twenty years ago, Dr. George Mentz and I pioneered residential executive training, and soon thereafter online degrees, for wealth managers seeking to become top producers.  Over time we trained these industry leading wealth managers with our executive programs for the likes of EuroMoney-Institutional Investor, IIR, and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.  We even managed for the first time ever that the American Bar Association acquiesced to an online wealth management oriented graduate law degree being granted to both lawyers and non-lawyers alike by an accredited law school in the USA.”

“And in terms of executing multi-media publishing, I’ve written and edited 10 books and treatises and 17 chapters for best-of-class publishers like Lexis-Nexis, Wolters Kluwer, Thomson-Reuters, and Oxford University Press, whereas Dr. Mentz focused on wealth management techniques and soft skills books distributed international via the 120-country membership of the American Academy of Financial Management.  I have published my multi-media textbooks online since 1998!”

New Community-Collaborative Technology

When asked how he transitioned from practitioner to education-pioneer, Byrnes reminisced “I never imagined when I was an associate director of international tax of the big 6 audit firm Coopers & Lybrand, now known as PwC, that I would move from serving high net wealth families to helping wealth managers better serve their clients via my role as the Associate Dean of an ABA accredited law school, Thomas Jefferson.  This year Thomas Jefferson School of Law will open its new $130 million dollar state-of-the-technology new campus in San Diego that will be able deliver via innovative ways interactive training and education to wealth managers across the nation, and the globe.  Over the coming year I will combine the cutting-edge technology of Thomas Jefferson law school, my online training expertise, and the National Underwriters best-of-class information services to deliver real-time fresh strategy and sales approaches to AUS subscribers, with followup webinars and training where subscriber interests warrants.”

Delivering the Competitive Advantage to Producers

Byrnes added, “National Underwriters/Summit Business Media wants to deliver an information service that will place its subscribers in a better competitive advantage.”  To this end National Underwriters has allowed me to assemble the industry’s finest editorial team in Investment Advisory, Wealth Management, and Risk Management.  I already have commitments from the two well known industry experts, investment-advisory attorney Robert Bloink, and the chair of the American Academy of Financial Management®, Dr. George Mentz, who will underpin this team”.

Robert Bloink’s Background

“I think it is critical for National Underwriters subscribers to know that Robert Bloink, one of two underpinning editorial team members, put in force in excess of $2B of longevity pegged portfolios for the insurance industry’s producers in the past five years.  Robert Bloink’s insurance practice incorporates sophisticated wealth transfer techniques, as well as counseling institutions in the context of their insurance portfolios and other mortality based exposures.  His success proves that he really has an unparalleled knowledge of the advanced insurance markets.”

“And in terms of risk management editorial expertise, I previously met Robert Bloink when he had just finished serving as Senior Attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Large and Mid-Sized Business Division, where he litigated many cases in the U.S. Tax Court, served as Liaison Counsel for the Offshore Compliance Technical Assistance Program, coordinated examination programs audit teams on the development of issues for large corporate taxpayers and taught continuing education seminars to Senior Revenue Agents involved in Large Case Exams.  In his governmental capacity, Mr. Bloink became recognized as an expert in the taxation of financial structured products, and was responsible for the IRS’ first FSA addressing variable forward contracts. Mr. Bloink’s core competencies led to his involvement in prosecuting some of the biggest corporate tax shelters in the history or our country.”

Chartered Wealth Managers Endorse 

“It is also critical for National Underwriters subscribers who serve middle America to know that the editorial team has Dr. George Mentz, chair of the 50,000 affiliated members of the American Academy of Financial Management® (AAFM®), Byrnes said.”  In an interview with Dr. Mentz, he stated that “I am excited to introduce our membership of Chartered Wealth Managers to the competitive client advisory strategies of Advanced Underwriter Service® and Tax Facts®.”  The AAFM® has endorsed National Underwriters’ Advanced Underwriter Service® as the information service of choice for its board designation CWM®s (Chartered Wealth Manager) in all of its 150 countries of membership.

Panel of Experts

In describing the newly formed editorial team, Byrnes said “To provide AUS® subscriber examples of other experts who will round out various aspects of the new editorial team, let me introduce you to three others, Mike Rodman, Don Goode and Robert Stuchiner.  Mike Rodman is a three time qualifier for Top of The Table, MDRT’s highest honor, as well as a four-year member of the International Forum, and the Association of Advanced Underwriters (AALU). Rodman served as past president of NAIFA-San Diego as well as an active member of The Financial Planning Association (FPA), The Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP) and The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA).  He founded Advanced Planning Services, Inc. (APS) as “the Premier Advanced Sales and Advanced Underwriting organization” serving the entire industry, including producers, producer groups, and other agencies and carriers, for which it has been a two-time INC 500 winner.”

“Don Goode joined Potomac West, where he was instrumental in building their large case department.  Along with his partner, Don successfully designed and negotiated the Power Play program for American General, and most importantly to National Underwriter subscribers, his team lent support to the first agent in the history of the industry to ever receive more than $100mm in a single calendar year.  When he stepped down from partner status at Potomac West, Don accepted a one year contract to lead the sales and marketing department for the esteemed Producer’s Group.  Thereafter Don Goodman joined the Advanced Planning Division of the public company-Bisys-Potomac where he consistently produced individual policy transactions that were more than 20 times the company average.”

“Robert Stuchiner worked for some of the largest insurance companies, most recently AIG where he was Senior Vice President in charge of market development and strategy for the AIG Affluent Markets Group. He has also worked for consumers of insurance products ranging from large corporations (North American Phillips) to a major law firm (Davis, Polk & Wardwell).  Robert Stuchiner has published articles on life insurance products in “Trusts & Estates” magazine as well as “CCH” professional publications. He is a frequent speaker to the insurance industry associations. Robert is the winner of the “National Career Achievement Award” granted by the Lighthouse for the Blind.  

Community Calibration

Byrnes concluded the interview stating, “To bring AUS to the next level of becoming the industry’s leader for strategic information, this next six months is going to be about collaboration with AUS subscribers and calibration of the new information service to align to the feedback received from them.  John Frey, Head of National Underwriters Institutional Relationships, and I will reach out to establish a focus group of the enterprise-wide subscribers, as well as a focus group of the producers.” 

“Via my community-based feedback approach, the subscribers will drive AUS’ topic approach to strategic information, even receiving direct answers to ‘questions for the authors’ so that the producer may better address client questions either in the living room or in the board room.  AUS will be a subscriber-focused service, tailored to the needs of the producer to place more product with customers”.  Byrnes said that he welcomed feedback from current AUS subscribers and would provide his direct National Underwriters telephone number and email address on the AUS subscriber site.

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Immigration, Tax Planning, & AML Compliance for High Net Wealth Families & Executives

Posted by William Byrnes on June 6, 2010


The course instructors will “bridge the gap” between the often complex and quite intricate realm of international tax, estate planning, and immigration law. There is an obvious “nexus” between working professional immigrants, “high net worth immigrants,” and their financial dealings as to taxation and estate planning.  The course will first provide a survey of the foundational principles of U.S. international tax and estate planning.  The course will then provide a survey of relevant immigration visa categories, their status requirements, and “triggers” that have international tax and/or estate planning consequences.  Then the course will apply the legal principles with US case scenarios in order to establish a greater understanding between the “nexus” of international tax and immigration laws.

Next the instructors will lecture on the international movement of high net wealth executives and families: tax and immigration issues and strategies.  Finally the instructors will analyze the often overlooked overlap amongst financial reporting requirements, with a particular emphasis on the Patriot Act and related requirements.

Instructors: Prof. Fred Ongcapin is an Adjudications Officer (Policy) for the Policy and Regulation Management Division, Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Headquarters Office, Washington D.C. In his current position he has authored and led to the publishing of numerous national policy guidance memos and formal regulations as to immigration law for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also provides regular statutory and policy guidance concerning immigration policy for Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices throughout the country due to his subject matter expertise in immigration law. On several occasions, Fred has represented Citizenship and Immigration Services before senior policy level liaison meetings with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice, and certain Congressional Committees on Immigration.

Prof. Marshall Langer, the globally renown international tax author, lecturer and practitioner. Famed for Langer’s Practical International Tax Planning and for Rhoades & Langer U.S. International Tax and Treaties. Prof. Langer retired Of Counsel at the firm of Shutts & Bowen, London, England, and Miami, Florida.

Prof. William Byrnes has been an author and editor of 10 books and treatises and 17 chapters for Lexis-Nexis, Wolters Kluwer, Thomson-Reuters, Oxford University Press, Edward Elgar, and Wilmington. He is currently working on several Concept Maps for Lexis-Nexis Tax Law Center. This year he takes over as the author of National Underwriters’ Advanced Underwriting Service – the dominant information service in the insurance/financial planning industry with tens of thousands of subscribers.

In professional practice William Byrnes was a senior manager, then associate director of international tax for Coopers and Lybrand which subsequently amalgamated into PricewaterhouseCoopers, practicing in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. He has been commissioned and consulted by a number of governments on their tax and fiscal policy from policy formation to regime impact.

Delivery: 14 hours of live lecture and case studies via WIMBA web-conferencing – requires no download and works on PC/Mac.

Dates:  June 8, 15, 22 (Tues) 9pm-10pm (Eastern); June 29 (Tues) 9pm – midnight (Eastern); July 22 & 29 (Thurs) 10am-11am (Eastern); Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26 (Thurs) 9pm – 10pm (Eastern); Sept. 2 (Thurs) 9pm – 11pm (Eastern)

Recordings: all lectures are made available within 1 hour after class – on-demand video streaming and MP4 download until September 5th.

Contact: Prof. William Byrnes, Associate Dean – wbyrnes@tjsl.edu +1 (619) 297-9700 x 6955 for a registration form. Payments are only made by credit card to Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The fee is $49 per lecture hour ($686 for 14 hours) and includes electronic course materials.

Posted in Courses, Teaching Opportunities, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

International Estate Planning & Immigration (summer course)

Posted by William Byrnes on May 2, 2010


Topics: Executive Compensation, High Net Wealth Families, Immigration, Estate Planning strategies and compliance

Delivery: 36 hours of live lecture and discussions – audio headsets required (online)

Start: May 28 (Friday) – end August 6 (Friday) – 11 weeks

When: most lectures’ times are weekdays at New York 11am / London 4pm / Paris 5pm / Dubai 7pm / Mumbai 8:30pm / Hong Kong 11pm

Recordings: all lectures are made available within 24 hours on-demand until August 27  

Instructors include: Richard Duke, Marshall Langer, Alfred Ongcapin, and others

Contact: Prof. William Byrnes, Associate Dean – wbyrnes@tjsl.edu to enroll

Enrollment: either as continuing education or as graduate program credit (graduate program credit includes full Westlaw, Lexis, CCH, IBFD, Checkpoint, Orbitax and 20 other professional databases)

Certification: applies toward the CTEP professional designation of the American Academy of Financial Management as disclosed for FINRA.

Accreditation: applies toward the Legum Magister, Juris Scientiae Magister, Scientiae Juridicae Doctor of Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego) as disclosed for the American Bar Association.

Posted in Courses, Teaching Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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