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In this Issue

This month marks our annual focus on personal financial planning. This issue builds upon the NYSSCPA's financial planner workshop held this past winter. One of the major themes to come out of that conference was the difficulties planners face given the uncertainties in the current tax regime and economic environment in the wake of the national elections. As a result of present circumstances, the editors gravitated towards approaches that did not narrowly focus on building wealth or minimizing taxes. Instead, the featured articles this month share the common theme of how CPAs can provide financial peace of mind to individuals (and their families) facing physical or mental obstacles—especially those who become unexpectedly incapacitated or suffer from a chronic illness.

Authors Ronald Fatoullah, Elizabeth Forspan, Jeffrey Gorak, and Sidney Kess stress the importance of having a power of attorney in place for incapacitated individuals in order to avoid the costly and uncertain process of a guardianship proceeding. They discuss the statutory requirements and potential modifications to such arrangements, as well as their pertinence to tax and gifting matters, particularly under New York law.

Martin Shenkman notes that chronic illness is more prevalent than many know. He describes how CPAs are uniquely positioned to help individuals prepare financially chronic illness, suggesting several critical measures, including the establishment and management of trusts as well as planning for the tax consequences.

Other articles in this issue cover some common financial planning objectives: using partnership interests in a family business to accomplish estate planning goals, determining the deductibility of certain costs incurred by estates, planning for long-term care, and utilizing overlooked Social Security benefits.

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