Earlier this month Valbridge participated in the 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning – our fifth year in a row as a Gold Sponsor. Heckerling is weeklong educational conference for all members of the estate planning team, including attorneys, trust officers, accountants, charitable giving professionals, insurance advisors, elder law specialists, wealth management professionals, educators and nonprofit advisors.

The Heckerling Institute is an amazing source for practical guidance on today’s most important tax and non-tax planning issues, including the planning challenges and opportunities presented by the 2017 Tax Act. The institute provides valuable insights on innovative ideas for planning effectively in what remains an uncertain and unpredictable political and economic environment.

Valbridge was also an exhibitor at the Heckerling Institute. Valbridge reps Karl P. Finkelstein, MAI; Larry J. Colorito, Jr. MAI; Chris Lantz, MAI; Richard L. Armalavage, MAI; and David W. Boyd, MAI met and mingled with attendees who were eager to learn more about us and exactly what we do. We had over 400 people stop by the booth to learn about how we help clients across the nation. Specifically discussing how our single point of contact allows estate professionals to handle their client’s valuation needs in multiple locations with a single call.

Take-Aways From the Heckerling Institute

The Tax Act of 2017’s Impact on Estate Planning

The 2017 Tax Act provides tax relief for both individuals and families alike. At the Heckerling Institute, much focus was placed on the Act making basis more important for most clients. The Tax Act presentation discussed how to determine basis and the use of such techniques as gross estate includible nonmarital trusts, contingent general powers of appointment, up-stream power of appointment trusts, and opt-in community property trusts.

Planning Strategies for Today’s Families

The structure of the family has changed dramatically since the 1950’s, when many of the world’s traditional estate and financial planning strategies were developed (both on a personal and commercial level). During the Institute, we attended several seminars focusing on the ever-changing generational attributes, marital practices, and family structures of today, and examined their implications for estate and business planning, trust design, and family collaboration and governance.

Qualified Small Business Stocks

These days, Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) under Section 1202 are no longer just for tech companies. For our clients, we believe it’s time to reconsider QSBS. Why? Well, the new tax act permanently reduces the corporate tax rate, but the deduction for pass-through entities will eventually expire.

QSBS are what will become the next “big bang” because they provide an exciting array of benefits (and a surprising alternative) for owners of new and pre-existing businesses – large and small, including:

  • 100 percent exclusion on sale
  • Tax-free rollover of gains
  • A chance to multiply the exclusion by 10 times (maybe more!)

Designing Comprehensive Valuation and Advisory Services

Just like an architect who designs a building to withstand unexpected disasters, we strive to compose comprehensive valuation and advisory services for our clients that stand true through the ever-evolving appraisal standards.

One major theme of the Heckerling Institute was the fact that estate planners must anticipate potential changes in the lives of settlors and beneficiaries in the planning process, or blueprint, that incorporates the client’s goals but also considers flexibility; the drafting of all pertinent documents (such as property appraisal reports); and unexpected litigation that could reduce the plan to rubble.

Valbridge and You

Interested in learning more about what Valbridge has to offer you? Get in touch with us today! The Valbridge professionals might not be able to tell the future, but we are trusted by clients to provide independent valuations and powerful insights for better business!