March, 2015 | Shah & Associates, P.C. Estate Planning & Business Law Blog - Part 2
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Why Avoid Estate Planning or Business Succession Planning? Elder Law vs Estate Law; How to Choose an Estate Attorney; IRS & Tangible Property

March 6, 2015

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 5:54 pm

Hear Neel Shah, Managing Attorney of the Law Firm of Shah & Associates, P.C. describe the highlights of this weekly Blog Posts. For the full post, visit:

1.What’s the Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning?
2.IRS Activates New Regulations for Tangible Property
3.Planning to Pass the Business to the Next Generation? You Need Succession Planning
4.Why People Often Avoid Estate Planning
5.How to Choose an Estate Planning Attorney Who is Right For You

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How to Choose an Estate Planning Attorney Who is Right For You

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 4:13 pm

Putting your estate plan together and getting important questions answered is not something that should be underestimated. Selecting the professional that is right for your needs is important because you’re likely to form a long-term relationship with such an individual.

Whether it’s simply good planning sense or the rash of celebrity estate planning faux pas stories in the news, more people are thinking about their estates. Planning ahead goes far beyond putting together a will for most because it involves strategies designed to maximize the value of assets while minimizing the impact of taxes. shutterstock_191735909

You should have a level of comfort with your estate planning professional but also ease in communication. This individual should be able to help answer your questions but also conduct a review of your needs and suggest tactics and strategies specifically aligned with you. Even though estate planning is known for being complex, it can be very helpful to work with somebody who is committed to providing you with an understanding of value for each type of estate planning tool put to work for you.

Finally, an estate planning relationship should not be a one-time conversation. It should involve annual reviews, a team that provides you with the most relevant news information related to your planning, and a team that is there to answer questions for you in the long run. When hiring an estate planning attorney, look for somebody you can trust that is interested in building this long-term relationship with you. Let us help you- contact us at

Why People Often Avoid Estate Planning

March 5, 2015

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 4:01 pm

Most people recognize the value of doing it, but it’s either so difficult to work into their frame of mind or it’s something that seems so far off that estate planning tends to get skipped over.

As a bottom line, most people don’t want to think about dying. It’s a sobering topic, and it’s also one that generates a lot of questions you may not be sure you know how to answer. There are four primary reasons that people avoid estate planning:

  • They don’t want to think about death. Although most people want to avoid the topic of death, wouldn’t you rather address it while you’re healthy and competent? It’s much easier to plan ahead this way.
  • They don’t have time. Many estate planning mistakes or confusing court cases could have been avoided with planning ahead. Most people are busy, but you’d be surprised at how little time you actually need to invest in order to develop an estate plan.
  • Some assume they don’t have an estate worth worrying about. You can have an “estate” if you own just about anything, and not putting this on paper can make it difficult for your loved ones to figure out your intentions after you pass away.
  • Some people don’t understand it. They may assume that estate planning is all about using complex tools like trusts, but estate planning is designed to meet you where you are at, not make things more difficult than they need to be. Regardless of your needs, it’s an important process.shutterstock_171944918

Skip the excuses and set up a meeting today to settle your estate planning concerns while you are already thinking about. We can help you- request your meeting today at

Planning to Pass the Business to the Next Generation? You Need Succession Planning

March 4, 2015

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 3:47 pm

There’s no doubt that it can be a real challenge for business owners to talk about succession planning. For some, it’s because their drive and entrepreneurial vision contributed so much to the success of the enterprise. For others, it’s because they can’t imagine taking a step back from the business. And for others, it has to do with not being sure what the future holds in terms of the business. All of these are understandable reasons for putting off the succession planning conversation, but they don’t diminish the true value of thinking ahead. shutterstock_185053982

Succession planning is not just answering the “who” question- it’s about answering the “how”, too. There are several different tools that can be used to help with the process of succession planning, such as a buy-sell agreement and life insurance. If you aim to be passing on the business to another generation, you need to have a conversation with your business succession planning professional to talk about the most effective way to do this. Keeping stakeholders involved and informed can be crucial for success.

If you think that the business is going to end with you, or that you might want to sell it, these are equally important concerns that may lead you into a series of estate planning questions specifically for you. The reality is that even if you’re not sure of the direction you’re going to go, setting up a meeting can help you work through these difficult issues and determine an effective route for moving forward. Send us a message to set up your meeting today at

IRS Activates New Regulations for Tangible Property

March 3, 2015

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 3:46 pm

It’s tax time again, and trustees and executors involved in portfolios with real estate as well as businesses holding property should be aware of the new regulations linked to tangible property. Although these new regulations are complicated, they can be an important tool for reducing 2014 tax liability with the right planning.

These tangible property regulations, frequently referred to as “repair” regulations, were finalized in September 2013 and were made active for all tax years after January 1, 2014. One of the reasons for the revised regulations is that in the past, taxpayers had to content with IRS codes and Tax Court decisions that often seemed opposed to one another. The new guidelines aim to line up the IRS guidelines with recent decisions from the courtroom to provide clarity for taxpayers. Digital Online Tax Payment Policy Office Concept

The basics of the changes have to do with when real estate owners or businesses spending money to improve, repair, or acquire tangible property. These expenses can be deducted as ordinary and necessary or capitalized and depreciated over time. Especially when it comes to rental real estate, the decision made on how to deduct the expense can have important implications. The most important change in the new regulations has to do with the fact that tangible property regulations require taxpayers to apply them as if they had been in effect from inception, requiring review of general ledgers and depreciation schedules. After analysis, this means either a one-time reduction of taxable income for 2014 or a taxable income increase spread out over four years.

To learn more about the specifics of planning for your taxes this year and beyond, contact our offices for a consultation or a review. Send us a message at if you have questions.

What’s the Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning?

March 2, 2015

Filed under: Elder Law,Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 4:46 pm

Even though there are often situations where these two practices blend into one another, talking about estate planning and elder law does not always mean exactly the same thing. One key way to look at what makes these two kinds of practice unique is to consider the critical questions that each aims to answer:

  • What happens if I die?
  • What happens if I live?

Invariably, both elder law and estate planning in some ways address both life and death. Increasingly, estate planning tools help individuals capitalize on plans while they are still alive. Estate planning, however, has a much sharper focus on what happens when you die, especially when it comes to the transfer of your assets. A lot of the questions addressed in elder law, however, have to do with helping people plan for the future within their own life. As longevity is a major concern for today’s elderly, planning in advance for aging and long-term care are just as important as factoring in estate planning. shutterstock_196636610

Estate planning and elder law work together. Imagine it this way: what benefit is putting so much effort into planning for the transfer of your assets on death when you pass away if all of those assets are put in jeopardy by one major health event? Elder law works to protect those assets and get you thinking about these concerns early on so that you can meet your estate planning goals. Send us an email today at to learn more.

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