I recently attended the wedding of a friend’s daughter. The bride and groom both beamed as they exchanged their vows while overlooking a beautiful waterfall. I’m sure many thoughts crossed their minds at that moment—the excitement of the party to come, visions of their lives together—but I can guarantee one issue they weren’t thinking about: the deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) election. And hopefully, whether to take this election is a decision they won’t have to worry about for a long time (if at all). But, those practitioners with clients who are facing this decision know that it can be very complicated. Two of our articles this month provide some guidance. “Portability + QTIP,” p. 22, by Charles A. Granstaff, discusses how these two strategies can be used together to maximize flexibility for a client. And, in “The DSUE Coin Flip,”p. 17, John T. Bannen and Kristin A. Occhetti review the various factors to consider when advising a client about portability.
This month’s issue also features our High-Net-Worth Families & Family Offices Committee Report. As these articles reflect, a critical issue for high-net-worth families is getting the younger generation on board, in terms of engaging them in philanthropy or just taking responsibility for their own decisions. The report also covers advising families who are new to wealth and helping families to discover their “spiritual capital.”
Finally, we have our semi-annual “Review of Reviews,” p. 44. The articles our editorial advisory board members evaluate run the gamut from trust termination to the need to contemplate, reflect on and embrace the concept of death during the estate-planning process.