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Building Blocks of Estate Planning in Light of New Litigation

Tax reform proposals in 2021 include several ideas which would significantly complicate estate planning. The proposals of particular interest include: restoring the estate tax to 2009 levels (give or take) and eliminating the basis “step-up” at death. Restoring the estate tax won’t be difficult for an experienced estate planner to navigate. However, it will significantly increase the number of families affected and therefore many advisors may need to get up to speed quickly on the “building blocks of estate planning” that may have slipped off their radar screens with the de-emphasis on the estate tax during the Trump administration. That said, elimination of the step-up in basis or even the possible imposition of Canadian-like realization tax at death would be an unprecedented paradigm shift in estate planning, and would be the most significant change in decades and could massively increase the effective cost the “death tax.” Moreover, it might leave the life insurance death benefit as the most mathematically efficient wealth transfer technique. This session will review these proposals and discuss the best planning ideas, focused on moderately wealthy families with 3M-20M net worth.

Jennifer Wilhelmy

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Paul McDonald

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Tim Foster

Northern States

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Umang Patel

Pacific Advisors

Umang Patel is part of the Pacific Advisors team in the Bay Area and Roseville, California. He specializes in advanced financial strategies for professionals and business owners. He works with clients to empower them by providing innovative methods to mitigate financial risk and plan for their futures. Umang starts by gathering a full understanding of each client’s unique vision for their lives and what is important to them. He builds upon that knowledge by getting a complete picture of their existing financial strategies and identifying pitfalls and inefficiencies. Umang works extensively with his clients to formulate a specialized approach to mitigate financial risk and orient them towards reaching their financial goals now and going forward.

Umang guides his clients through a decision-making process across three distinct strategies:
• Protection – to plan for the unexpected;
• Sufficiency – to plan for the expected; and
• Surplus – to plan for more than the expected.

These three strategies come together to form a customized plan that can help lead to lifelong financial success and confidence.

Umang thinks of himself as a financial coach, and he stays engaged with his clients throughout every step of the financial planning process, providing them with the tools, knowledge, and resources they need for success. He commits to building long-term professional relationships and friendships with many of them. Umang currently holds Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. He strives to increase his knowledge by keeping up with the latest developments in the financial world so that he can continue to provide the best personal service to his clients. Umang highly values family, education, and community. He supports several charitable and civic organizations, such as Vitalant, the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Sacramento, and Mercy Housing California. When he is not working with his clients or in the community, he enjoys cooking and photography. He also enjoys traveling with his wife and young son and is always considering where he would like to travel next.

Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP

Keebler & Associates, LLP

Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished) is a partner with Keebler & Associates, LLP and is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Accredited Estate Planners (Distinguished) award from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. He has been named by CPA Magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Practitioners in the United States and one of the Top 40 Tax Advisors to Know During a Recession. His practice includes family wealth transfer and preservation planning, charitable giving, retirement distribution planning, and estate administration. Mr. Keebler frequently represents clients before the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the private letter ruling process and in estate, gift and income tax examinations and appeals, and he has received more than 250 favorable private letter rulings including several key rulings of “first impression.” He is the author of over 100 articles and columns and is the editor, author or co-author of many books and treatises on wealth transfer and taxation. Mr. Keebler has been a speaker at national estate planning and tax seminars for over 25 years including the AICPA’s: Estate Planning, High Income, Advanced Financial Planning Conferences, ABA Conferences, NAPEC Conferences, The Notre Dame Estate Planning Conference and the Heckerling Estate Planning Institute. He also served as chair of the AICPA’s Advanced Estate Planning Conference from 2014-2020.