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Gift Tax Exclusion Use It or Lose It

There is a little over one year left to gift up to $5M without a gift tax. If you have a large estate or if your parents have a large estate, you should pay attention. Until the end of 2012, the estate tax exclusion (the amount you can die with without a tax) is $5M. Likewise, the lifetime gift tax exclusion (the amount you can gift during your lifetime without a tax)…

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Grit and Entrepreneur Success

Great article by Jocelyn K. Glei on what it takes to be successful. Citing studies by Harvard researcher Angela Lee Duckworth, grit - not talent, self-discipline or IQ-intelligence is the primary predictor of success. Grit is defined as "the perseverance and passion for a long-term goal." Here is Duckworth's TEDx presentation.   Duckworth explains the 10 year rule. It takes at least 10 years in a field to see real success. This…

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Asset Protection and Estate Planning

I tell my clients the best asset protection planning is done in the context of tax and estate planning. In other words, the planning should be viable on more than one front. Not just for asset protection. Not just for tax planning. And not just for estate planning. If the planning intersects two of the three, it is probably a good plan. Asset protection is like dealing with a bank. When you…

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Bankruptcy and Self Settled Trust

Jay Adkisson reports on a recent court ruling where an Alaska Self Settled Trust did not protect the debtor from bankruptcy, and he asks whether the courts will invalidate self settled trusts (domestic or foreign). So, as we sit here today, the Mortensen opinion basically says that under Bankruptcy Code section 548(e), Asset Protection Trusts do not provide protection in bankruptcy for a period of at least 10 years from the date…

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What is Important?

Our school system punishes artists and rewards bureaucrats. From Seth Godin's Lynchpin: Being good at school is a fine skill if you intent to do school forever. For the rest of us, being good at school is a little like being good at Frisbee. It's nice, but it's not relevant unless your career involves homework assignments, looking ghrough textbooks for answers that are already known to your supervisors, complying with instructions and…

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How We Can Help You

We are an intentionally small California law firm based in Sacramento. We work with entrepreneurs and do estate planning for families (things like living trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, wills, trust administration and probate), and we help churches and nonprofits with planned giving. We will treat you like we would want to be treated. This means we will be kind, we will teach you about legal stuff - not lecture you, we…

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Biz Counsel

If you run a small business, I mean small, like it's just you, or maybe you and a few employees or partners, then you are part of the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the world. Not the ones you read about in the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company or Fortune Magazine, but the creative risk takers like you who start a business to carve out a life - a life where…

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Creating a Tribe

From the guru, Seth Godin, on creating your Tribe: 1. Publish a manifesto. Give it away and make it easy to spread far and wide. It's your mantra and a motto and a way of looking at the world. It unites your tribe members and gives them a structure. 2. Make it easy for your followers to connect with you. It could be as simple as emailing you. 3. Make it easy…

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Success as Entrepreneur

Great post from Noah Lowry quoting one of his readers: It’s important to remind people that an entrepreneur needn’t be a Jobsian genius in order to benefit society. Every time someone figures out a slightly better way of doing something, society gets better. The Jobs model scales from the highest heights of capitalism down to the most humble. That’s the point. We can all be Steve Jobs. Which is the danger in…

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