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Estate Planning Update

Added by John McGown, Jr. in Tax Law on September 22, 2020

For real estate, the magic words are location, location, location. For estate and related tax planning, the magic words are uncertainty, uncertainty, uncertainty. Fortunately, there are resources to help people deal with this uncertainty. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national organization of trust and estate professionals that has developed valuable content related to estate planning and regulatory matters imparted by the pandemic.

2020 Estate Planning Resources for Individuals, Families, and Professionals

The topics covered include:

Estate Planning in the 2020 Election Year

How will the 2020 election affect estate planning, taxes and charitable giving? Learn what steps taxpayers may want to consider and how to plan for future legislation, changes in the estate gift tax exemption and charitable giving.

Getting Your Affairs in Order: Essential Legal Documents

What legal documents should you have in place to prepare for an emergency such as the Coronavirus pandemic? Learn more about a Durable Power of Attorney (aka Financial Power of Attorney) and Advance Healthcare Directives (Healthcare Proxy, Living Will).

How the SECURE Act May Impact Your Retirement Plan

The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) enacted in December 2019 changes everything concerning estate planning with retirement benefits. Learn about the new IRA age distribution requirement, the impact to beneficiaries, changes to the “stretch” and individuals who are exempt from the limitation, and what it all means to individual retirement plans.

Estate Planning for a College Student or Young Adult

Your child becomes a legal adult when they turn 18 years old. During the current pandemic it is more important than ever to understand what legal documents, such as a Power of Attorney (POA) or health care proxy, you should have them sign before heading off to college and into the world.


In addition to the above resources that are from a national perspective, I have developed Idaho specific information on Advance Directives. These documents are especially relevant during the current pandemic. They provide the opportunity for an individual to state what steps he/she would want to keep him/her alive in the event of an inability to communicate. Further, the individual can name the person(s) to make such decisions on his/her behalf.