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FPA National Capital Area Sponsor Support Information


Altman Associates

Dear Members:

Help with Estate Planning & COVID-19

COVID-19 upended everyone's life in a number of ways. It's impossible to fully prepare for an event like this, but as citizens, professionals, parents, and community leaders, the team at Altman & Associates is here to help you and your clients during this time.

Here are some questions for your clients to think about:

Are estate planning documents up-to-date?  Have these documents been reviewed or updated in the last 4 years.  If not, they may be out of date, especially during these unprecedented times.  It is of utmost importance to ensure that all estate planning documents accurately reflect the family situation, assets and wishes of your clients.  Moreover, the assets and beneficiary designations must be coordinated with these estate planning documents. 

What better time than now to approach your clients to make sure they have completely implemented up-to-date estate planning documents.  As all of you know, the basic estate planning documents include:  Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, Beneficiary Designations, Medical Directives, Medical Releases and General Powers of Attorney.  More complex estate planning documents include various different type of irrevocable trusts, LLCs and sale agreements.  We can help your clients throughout the DC metropolitan area with the design, drafting, signing and implementation of their estate planning documents.

Here are some other questions you may want to ask your client about:

Do your clients unmarried adult children have the necessary documents to your client, as the parent, or someone else, the right to make medical (and financial) decisions for the child?  These necessary documents include Medical Directives, Medical Releases and Powers of Attorney. 

Has the client’s retirement account beneficiary designations been reviewed to make sure in compliance with the SECURE Act?  If a trust is a beneficiary, does the trust have to be changed to reflect the SECURE Act, and if so, has that trust be modified to reflect the SECURE Act?

Does your client have significant assets so that the client could be subject to estate taxes, either now or if a new President gets elected and changes the exemption from estate taxes?  We believe that anyone whose assets are over 3,500,000 should be thinking about taking advantage of the current exemption for estate taxes, before Congress reduces the exemption limit.  There are a number of different techniques that can be used.  We will be glad to discuss these techniques with you and your clients.

Does your client want to freeze the value of his or her estate, so that all growth is not subject to estate taxes.  Again, there are many different techniques and trusts that can be used.  One concept is to create a GRAT, and transfer securities (or even bonds) to the GRAT.  The client will receive back his assets, plus interest at the IRS AFR rate (which for April is 1.2%).  In other words, a client can give the appreciation of his or her assets in excess of 1.2% to his children, gift and estate tax free.  What better way to talk to your clients about the stock market rebounding then to give them an idea how to give the expected appreciation to their children without any estate or gift taxes.  We will be glad to help you determine if a GRAT is appropriate for your clients.

For your information, we offer consultations by phone and video conference, as well continuing to offer consultations in the office.  We are able to execute estate planning documents in many ways, including traveling to the client for document signings, so that the client and us stay safe during the COVID-19 situation. 

Gary Altman, Esq.
Principal Attorney
11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 708
Rockville, Maryland  20852
P: 301-468-3220  |  F: 301-468-3255