Andy Gutwein


Gifting to save taxes? Not so fast.

by Andy Gutwein

Frequently I hear from people who want to gift away their assets while they’re alive in order “to save taxes” and “make sure the government doesn’t take it all.” Unfortunately though, many of these people are following coffee shop advice from outdated sources or uninformed friends.

The reality is that the majority of people are better off not making gifts during their lifetime and passing assets to their children upon their death. Why, you ask? It's because of what's known as the "Step Up Basis" vs the "Carryover Basis." I'll give you an example.

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What is a family foundation, and should I have one?

by Andy Gutwein

A client contacted us and asked: “What is a family foundation, and should I have one?” This isn't the first time the question has come up, so I wanted to share our answer.

A family foundation is a way to obtain a charitable income tax deduction today while distributing the money to charities in the future.  It is a not-for-profit organization that holds funds and then disburses those funds to charitable organizations.  They are recognized as 501(c)(3) organizations and the person contributing to the foundation is allowed a charitable deduction when the property is transferred into the foundation.  (There are limits on the amount that can be deducted.)   So, someone puts their money into the foundation, and then the foundation distributes it to charities.

Should you have one?  It depends.

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Succession Planning for Your Family-Owned Business

by Andy Gutwein

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build your own business. When the time comes, you may like to keep it in the family. Having a succession plan in place will ensure that the legacy of your business will live on in accordance with your wishes. As you begin thinking about your options, you may come to the realization that your children aren’t yet ready to take over the business. This raises a number of additional questions: What will happen until my children are ready? What if they aren’t interested? What will I do if they aren’t?

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Recipe for Success: Separating Farm Land from Operations

by Andy Gutwein

There is a lot to think about when putting together a succession plan for a farm: Will it stay in the family or be sold? If it does stay in the family, will all or some of your children remain active? How long do you want to stay involved in the operations? The path to get where you want can be daunting. Luckily, there are certain steps that can be taken now to make the process easier when you are ready to transition. One step we suggest is to separate the farm land from the farming operations.

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Serving as Power of Attorney: Congratulations or Condolences?

by Andy Gutwein

At some point in life, many of us will sign a “Power of Attorney” (POA) and designate one of our children to be our “attorney in fact.”  Or, perhaps we have been named as attorney in fact for our own parents.  Being designated as an attorney in fact means that you have the authority to transact business for the person who appointed you (the principal).

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