August 11, 2016
Does the gross value of your estate exceed $150,000? If your answer is yes, then let’s talk! We understand that discussing your estate can be, well, uncomfortable. Our Estates and Trusts Team can help you see that creating a plan for what will happen after your death isn’t about passing away — it’s about the legacy you’ll pass on. With the right planning, your legacy will help others live their lives for years to come.
Why Estate Planning?
Proper estate planning helps lay the groundwork for your family once you pass away, offering peace of mind for you and yours. It may be uncomfortable to begin the discussion, but your worries will ease once you know that your hard-earned money will be used according to your wishes. As CPAs, we’re always looking to minimize taxes and fees so your heirs receive the largest inheritance possible, and avoid probate.
Why Do I Want to Avoid Probate?
Probate is a public legal proceeding that is used to put a person’s financial affairs in order after death. In California, probate proceedings are conducted by the County Superior Court where the deceased person lived — and these proceedings can take months, even years, to move through the system. This process is a matter of public record. All of that time comes with a big price tag, too.
Will or Trust: Which Is Better?
Anyone can write up a will. But if the gross value of your estate is $150,000 or more, it’s best to create a trust also. A trust will protect your heirs from entering probate, a series of court procedures that can be costly and emotional. A little advance planning will help your heirs retain more of your estate in the long run.
Trust 101: The Very Basics of Setting Up a Trust
There’s a common misconception that trusts require prohibitive amounts of money to set up. The truth is, you don’t have to be rich to set up a trust. At Grimbleby Coleman, we make the process easy and will work with your attorney or help you find one to work with. We’ll take a look at your tax returns, create a plan to minimize income tax, and create a long-term strategy for asset distribution. Legally your trust, unlike a will, will remain private — a great advantage to the family you leave behind. Also, a trust is the perfect way to leave a legacy to children under the age of 18. Instead of receiving a court-appointed guardian to make financial decisions, you’ll be in charge of who will help your young beneficiary navigate his or her new inheritance.
A Team With Compassion
We’re one of only two CPA firms in the region with a dedicated estates and trusts team. Not only do we know the ins and outs of this important practice area, we’re driven, passionate, and committed to staying current with the ever-evolving legislature. Our team members include:
- Colleen Meenk, CPA and Principal
- Linda Bossard, EA, USTCP and Manager
- Mike Kelly, CPA and Experienced Senior Associate
- Renee Salcedo, EA and Experienced Senior Associate
- Debbie Sanders, CPA and Manager
- Manoj Bains, Senior Associate
What If My Estate Is … Well, Complicated?
We have experience working on difficult estate and trust planning scenarios, including Form 706 for clients with more than $5 million in assets, QTIP planning, portability, Schedule “R” generation-skipping tax planning, GST allocation, and special gift planning.
- Be sure to check out “You’re Dead, Now What? Top Ten Estate Planning Myths” by Colleen Meenk, CPA and Partner.
- Curious about the most notorious example of a failed estate plan? Here’s a hint: It involves purple rain, purple rain.
A member of our Estates and Trusts team looks forward to helping you with your upcoming challenges or trust maintenance.
We Won the STATEWIDE CalCPA Public Service Award!
I often get asked why I am no longer working in the nonprofit profession here in Modesto; that is subsequently followed by a probing question inquiring when I plan to return. The answer is easy! My role as Marketing Manager here at Grimbleby Coleman CPAs bridges this gap in the most fulfilling of ways — so I won’t be heading back soon!
After working in the non-profit world for more than 10 years, I’ve now managed to find a position where two of my passions — marketing and community activity — are encouraged to blossom simultaneously. I feel so strongly about this that I personally wrote the Grimbleby Coleman CPAs’ nomination for the Cal CPA Public Service Award. Each day I count my blessings that I found a place of work filled with inspirational, honest, and hardworking people.
CalCPA Public Service Award Recognition
This month, our firm was awarded the statewide honor of the CalCPA Public Service Award, exemplifying our commitment to firm-wide community support. The honor rewards visionary professionals, and the firms they lead, for extraordinary efforts in serving their communities. According to the award committee, we have demonstrated “firm-wide ethos exemplifying the community consciousness that all firms should adopt.” They went on to say, “We want to not only congratulate you for this achievement, but also hold you up as an example to others for adopting community service as a best practice.”
Grimbleby Commun — I Mean, Coleman
At Grimbleby Coleman CPAs, community service is more than just an opportunity to build relationships with the areas we serve, it’s part of our firm’s identity and mission statement: “Building success for and connections with our colleagues, clients and community … it’s the people behind the numbers.” Our commitment to social responsibility and serving people in our community is at the heart of everything we do. The “people behind the numbers,” is a constant theme that runs throughout our company; we care about one another and aim to support our associates with community involvement experiences.
Our partners understand that being locally connected is more than just sponsoring a baseball team or having an annual employee food drive. They lead by example by serving as board members and lending their time, talent, and financial resources to many important local organizations. Our employees are encouraged to get involved in community organizations that speak to their individual passions; in fact, our employees are encouraged to take the time and flexibility they need to pursue volunteer opportunities through our policy of unlimited volunteer time off.
- 1,680 hours of team-wide civic and community service participation!
- 60+ events sponsored annually!
Modesto Chamber of Commerce, Stanislaus Business Alliance, Central Valley Business Center and Opportunity Stanislaus, Modesto Rotary, Community Hospice, Love Modesto, Modesto Chamber of Commerce, McHenry Mansion, Women’s Education & Leadership League, Downtown Modesto Partnership, Historic State Theatre, Modesto Sunrise Rotary, Toastmasters, Modesto Sunset Lions Club, Murals in Motown, Del Rio Country Club, Hope Haven International, United Samaritans, United Way of Stanislaus County, CPA Firm Management Association, Valley Medical Group Managers Association, Hope Haven West, Cambodia Impact, Stanislaus County Estate Planning Council, Stanislaus Community Foundation, CalCPA San Joaquin Chapter, Modesto Neighborhoods, Community Hospice, Salvation Army, Beyond Borders and numerous others!
Let’s All Do Our Part!
There are always ways to be part of making our community better, and my hope is that everyone is doing their part! Whether it’s at church, at school, or giving an ear to a friend or a smile to a stranger.
- The farmer wanted to ensure the children inherited equitably.
- All parties wanted to limit the liability exposure posed to the farmer as an individual owner and operator.
- The father and his children wanted to limit taxable income and estate taxexposure for the older generation.
- The operation needed to be positioned for future growth.
- Limiting tax impact on contributing operations to new S Corp and Limited Partnerships
- Considering the benefits and burdens of an IC-DISC entity
- Determining how and through which entity owners should be compensated
- Cash-basis methods available for farm activities
- Important factors for tax planning:
- Farm income averaging and qualifying types of income
- Net investment income tax
- Active versus passive investor treatment
- Maximizing the domestic production activity deduction
- Optimizing income for IC-DISC commission purpose
|Jeff Bowman, Ag Team Leader|
- Don't avoid "The Talk" because it is a touchy or fight-triggering subject.
- Obstacles like greed, family disharmony, control freaks, self-interest, and lack of contribution are tricky topics to air. Speak candidly and nip them in the bud with new solutions.
- Write down both small and major goals that every person can agree on.
- Schedule regular meetings with the entire family during the year and be sure that notes or recordings are taken at every meeting.
- Commit and execute the plan!
Our team specializes in succession planning, please watch the video to learn why this is so important for ag families.