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In this Issue : May 2018

This month marks our annual financial planning issue. The field, like many others, is still coming to grips with the sweeping changes introduced with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Its impact will require financial planners to reassess existing plans, some of which may now be obsolete. There will also be opportunities to achieve different planning objectives in this new tax environment.

Many taxpayers might think that the TCJA's changes to the federal estate tax mean that estate planning is no longer important or even necessary, but this is far from the truth. While tax minimization may no longer be paramount, an estate plan encompasses many other goals, and it will need to be revisited in light of the law. For example, Martin Shenkman discusses how qualified personal residence trusts may need to be adjusted. Sid Kess and Lee Slavutin review the impact the TCJA will have on life insurance planning.

Another major factor in any financial plan is the health, and eventual death, of the individual or couple. When disability strikes suddenly, it can be a challenge to deal with the financial implications effectively. Howard Davidoff presents strategies for such individuals to qualify for Medicaid coverage while preserving as much of their assets as possible for spouses and other family members. And Sid Kess, James Grimaldi, and James Revels provide an overview of planning issues facing an individual diagnosed with a terminal illness.

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