Main Libraries

Federal Income Taxation

Sources of the FEDERAL TAX Law, Federal Income Tax: General Law, The Internal Revenue Code, Revenue Rulings and Other IRS Materials...

Life Insurance

Selected Laws Affecting Insurance, Federal Income Taxation of Life Insurance & Annuities: Personal, Community Property Rights in Life Insurance...


Taxation of Life Insurance, 1035 Exchanges, Gain or Loss on Surrender or Sale, Transfer For Value Rule, UL and VUL, Taxation of Annuities...

Split Dollar Insurance

A form of executive compensation that has been popular for many years is “split dollar” insurance...

Group Life and Health Insurance

Goverment Non-tax requirements, Taxation, Group Survivors’ income benefit insurance, Welfare benefit funds, Health Reimbursement Arrangements...

Stocks and Other Investments

Introduction: Taxation of Investments, Introduction to Stocks, Dividends, Stripped Preferred Stock, Other Investment Vehicles...


Introduction to Bonds, Treasury and Corporate Notes and Bonds, Convertible Bonds, Stripped Bonds and Coupons, Zero Coupon Bonds and Original Issue Discount...

Real Estate

Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common, Tenancy by the Entirety, Community Property, UNIFORM MARITAL PROPERTY ACT,Overview of Real Estate Investments...

Employee Benefits

Benefits Today, The Compensation Package, Cafeteria Plans, Fringe Benefits, Educational Assistance Programs, Educational Assistance Programs...

Executive Compensation

Effective Executive Comopensation, Property Transferred as Compensation, Golden Parachutes,Below Market Loans: Compensation-related...

Pension and Profit Sharing

Introduction, Types of Qualified Plans, Qualification Rules, Funding & Deductions, Plan Design, Fiduciaries and Plan Investments, Plan Termination...

Deferred Compensation - Taxation

Goverment Non-Tax Requirements, Tax Aspects, Death Benefit Only Deferred Compensation, Planning a Deferred Compensation Agreement...

Individual Retirement

Introduction, Erisa Provisions, Plan Requirements, Income Taxation,ROTH IRAs, EDUCATION IRAs...

Federal Estate Tax

Federal Estate Tax – General, Life Insurance/Health Insurance/Annuities: Personal Insurance, The Federal Estate Tax Deductions and Credits...

Estate Planning

Planning Techniques, Lifetime Giving, Wills & Trusts, Intestacy, Uses of Life Insurance, Gifts to Minors, Charitable Giving, Community Property...

Business Entities

Proprietorships, Partnerships, LLCs & Corporations, Buy-Sell Agreements, Partnership & Corporate Taxation, Family Limited Partnerships...

Gift and GST Taxes

The Federal Estate & Gift Tax, The Generation Skipping Tax, GST-Exempt ILITs, State Death Taxes...

Lifetime Gifts

Gifts to Minors, Charitable Giving, Crummey Powers, Gifts of Life Insurance...

Qualified Retirement Plans

Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Plans, Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plans, ESOPs, Qualification Requirements, Tax Rules...

Investment Planning

Types of Investment Vehicles, Taxation of Investments, Investment Strategies...

Financial Planning

Financial Planning Concepts, Financial Planning for Special Circumstances...

AUS Special Reports

Topics of special interest to financial advisors.

State Law Digests

Covering Wills, Trusts, Intestacy, Insurable Interest,Insurance Exemption Laws..

Case Studies

How Would You Advise?

Tables and Inflation Adjusted Amounts

Tax COLAs, Qualified Plans, IRAs, 7520 rate

Specimen Forms

Various Planning Scenerios...

View All Main Libraries

A complete listing of all Main Libraries.

Topical Index

Index of General Subject Areas.

Advisor's Journal

The New Variables in a Variable Annuity
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Low interest rates have caused carriers to develop new products. Carriers are offering flexibility in variable annuity products while managing the market risks. The ability to alter terms of in-force variable annuity contracts can provide both carriers and clients with flexibility. Advisors need to know if these annuities are a smart choice for the client.
Evaluating Innovations in Uncapped Index Crediting
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Several years of stable market performance has reduced the appeal of indexed annuities, which cap the client’s gain. Carriers have developed twists on the uncapped index crediting method to allow for greater market participation. Clients may be surprised later though—making it important that they understand the fine print before jumping in.
Maximizing Fixed Income Annuity Earnings Potential with Interest Crediting
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
FIAs include a variety of features that can appeal to clients with varying goals and risk tolerances—the most important of which is the FIA’s interest crediting method. Choosing the most appropriate interest crediting method can make or break a client’s FIA strategy—and the advisor’s role can prove critical to an informed decision.
RMD Planning for Maximum Retirement Income Impact
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
The IRA required minimum distribution (RMD) deadline for most clients is just around the corner. RMD rules can be complicated and lead to large penalties. Fortunately, there are strategies that can be employed to reduce the RMD burden—but it’s important that clients plan now in order to ensure compliance with the strict IRS deadlines.
Optional Death Benefits Broaden IOVA’s Reach
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Variable annuity sales may be down but one option is doing well-investment-only variable annuities (IOVAs). The lower price and unique potential with IOVAs have led to increasing sales. Carriers offering IOVAs may have come up with a way to appeal to more clients— offering to tack on one of several optional death benefit features.
Charting the Course: The Costs and Benefits of LTC Hybrids
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
The market for “hybrid” long-term care (LTC) insurance products has been flooded in recent years as premium costs have soared. This has created a complex environment that even an astute client may have difficulty navigating. A client today can choose among traditional LTC policies, self-funding or one of the myriad hybrid products available.
Managing the Variables in a Variable Annuity Exchange
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Clients locked into variable annuities sometimes look for something new. An exchange is typically tax-free but hidden risks exist. Informed professional guidance is crucial. In light of the Department of Labor fiduciary standard that may apply in the case of annuity sales, it is more important than ever that advisors are knowledgeable on this topic.
Final DOL Rule Could Pull Indexed Annuities Under Variable Umbrella
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
New proposed fiduciary rules are far from settled, but reports indicate additional classes of annuity products may fall under the new fiduciary standards. Advisors should be aware of this and ensure that sales practices comply with the fiduciary rules. Despite this, compliance with the prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs) may save these annuity sales for advisors.
The Inherited Roth Rollover: How to Avoid Unpleasant Surprises
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Inheriting the balance of a retirement account has become a much more common occurrence in recent years. One idea is rolling inherited retirement funds into an inherited Roth IRA. The rules governing these types of rollovers are complicated and the inherited Roth account may be subject to distribution requirements that can make this option unattractive.
Reverse Mortgages: Does the Strategy Fit?
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Reverse mortgages have gained considerable attention recently and clients need to understand when a reverse mortgage can be beneficial, and when it could cause harm. This tool should only be used in very specific situations—giving the advisor a critical role in providing advice as to when and how a reverse mortgage should be used.
QLACs Simplify the Retirement Income Planning Game
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
When it comes to retirement income planning, middle market clients are often looking for simplicity. Qualified longevity annuity contracts (QLACs), longevity annuities can play an important role in achieving this goal. When paired with a smart early retirement investment strategy, their potential usefulness among middle market clients is undeniable.
RMDs: An Unconventional ESA Funding Tool
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
For many middle and upper class clients, IRA required minimum distributions (RMDs) can actually seem like a burden—increasing tax liability for clients who often do not need the funds. Funneling these RMDs into an education savings account (ESA) can be a way to save on taxes and provide lifetime gifts to children and grandchildren.
Retirement Benefits for Non-Working Spouses: A Boost for the Whole Household
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Retirement income planning is high on the list of financial priorities even for a non-working spouse. Because these clients generally do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement savings options, planning becomes much more involved. Fortunately, options do exist that can allow a non-working spouse to plan for a secure retirement.
Court Clears Path for Short Term Annuities in Medicaid Planning
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Medicaid compliant annuities can play a powerful role in a client’s long-term care if the client does not run afoul of strict Medicaid rules. These annuities have been purchased only to find they represent resources that prevent Medicaid eligibility. A recent important step, however, has helped insure long-term care can be met using annuities.
Roth Conversions: A Silver Lining to the Market Downturn
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
While some recovery has already occurred, drastic swings in the market over just a few days highlighted a potential opportunity for capitalizing on a down market—the Roth IRA conversion. Paying attention to market swings can allow your clients to take advantage of benefits that, in some cases, can only be produced by careful timing.
Dodging Steep Penalties in Retiree-Only HRA Design
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Affordable Care Act (ACA) reform provisions have limited health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) but these vehicles may still prove to be important for employers. An exception allows employers to provide HRAs to retired employees while reducing the employer’s exposure to the Cadillac tax if the proper steps are taken.
Minimizing Excess Roth Contribution Penalties: Timing Matters
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
A Roth IRA is attractive for clients of all different income levels—tax-free income source can prove invaluable during retirement. Clients may find themselves in a position where they have contributed to a Roth, and later discovered that they were actually ineligible to make the contribution. The client still has options to correct the mistake.
Pre-Retirement Rollover Traps to Avoid
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
As a client approaches retirement, the client may consider making retirement planning moves such as Roth conversions and employer-sponsored 401(k)-to-IRA rollovers. Unfortunately, these are two retirement income planning strategies that often do not mix. When combining these two strategies, the result could be one that no client approaching retirement will appreciate—a big tax bill.
Exceptions to the Rule Can Save a Spousal IRA Rollover
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
A surviving spouse’s most favorable option may be a type of rollover transaction when inheriting an IRA. Many clients believe any type of trust may be used to transfer the IRA. A surviving spouse can reap the tax benefits of the inherited IRA despite common errors that could otherwise cause the option to be lost.
IUL: A Nontraditional Route to Allocating Retirement Income Assets
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Asset allocation in retirement income planning is fundamental to ensuring sufficient retirement income. Indexed universal life insurance (IUL) can represent a type of hybrid combination of some of the more traditional asset classes—providing conservative risk protection of a bond with equity market participation and access to tax-free cash later in retirement.
Is the Stand-Alone HRA Making a Comeback?
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Stand-alone health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) have, in most cases, been a casualty of the Affordable Care Act because they violate the ACA. Recent legislation has been introduced that could allow certain small business clients to continue using the stand-alone HRA, thus reviving a popular and tax-preferred method for offering health coverage to employees
Maximizing Health Savings Choices: HSA or FSA?
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
As out-of-pocket health-related expenses rise, finding a tax-preferred method for funding those expenses has become more important than ever. The options include health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to fund expenses. The rules governing each one can prove critical to making sure each client makes the most of a health savings vehicle.
Does the QLAC Fit?—Pros and Cons of an Emerging Product
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Qualified longevity annuity contracts (QLACs) were introduced as a new tool for protecting against outliving retirement savings. Many clients remain on the fence though as to QLACs. It’s important that advisors have a concrete understanding of the potential benefits—as well as the objections—to including a QLAC in a client’s retirement savings account.
Final Regs Clear Path to Portability for Smaller Estates
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Clients leaving relatively modest estates should pay attention to the recently released IRS final regulations governing the deceased spousal unused exclusion amount ( portability). While the portability rules are most helpful in the context of large estates that will exceed the estate tax exemption amount, it is mid-sized estates that could be most impacted.
Look Before You Leap: The Case For Skipping the 401(k)-to-IRA Rollover
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
When determining what to do with the funds a client has accumulated in an employer-sponsored 401(k) upon changing employers— the most likely course of action is to roll those funds into an IRA. While this strategy may be advisable in some cases, there are important scenarios in which an IRA rollover is not the best move.
College Savings Demystified: The Devil is in the Details
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
College tuition is a huge pre-retirement expense. It’s important to be prepared for the detailed situations that will round out your client’s individual college funding scenario—and those scenarios may involve a 529 plan or require a more creative approach —and the methods for funding those expenses extend far beyond the typical savings account.
The 401(k) Loan: Friend or Foe?
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Borrowing from a 401(k) plan is often a taboo subject for clients which is understandable. Despite this, there are many scenarios where a client will be obligated to borrow funds. While a 401(k) plan loan will not always be the best option, a 401(k) plan loan can actually help a client come out ahead.
Dodge the New Medicare Surcharge Bullet
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Medicare surcharges have always been a concern for high-income clients—exceeding the thresholds can increase Medicare expenses greatly. Unfortunately, the recently enacted “Doc Fix” law will modify the income threshold that will subject more clients to the highest premium rates. Fortunately, there are planning techniques that can minimize the impact of the new rules.
Trending? Retirement Spending Accounts?
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
A new product has emerged on the marketplace for clients looking for alternative solutions to the retirement income puzzle—a retirement spending account. The product combines aspects of both a traditional retirement savings vehicle and an annuity. However, there are potential pitfalls that clients need to be made aware.
Trending? Retirement Spending Accounts?
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
A new product has emerged on the marketplace for clients looking for alternative solutions to the retirement income puzzle—a retirement spending account. The product combines aspects of both a traditional retirement savings vehicle and an annuity. However, there are potential pitfalls that clients need to be made aware.
Dodge the New Medicare Surcharge Bullet
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Medicare surcharges have always been a concern for high-income clients—exceeding the thresholds can increase Medicare expenses greatly. Unfortunately, the recently enacted “Doc Fix” law will modify the income threshold that will subject more clients to the highest premium rates. Fortunately, there are planning techniques that can minimize the impact of the new rules.
Annuities, Insurance, Investments: A Triple Crown Retirement Income Strategy
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
New research has recently been released to provide an in-depth study of the projected financial results of various combination strategies involving annuities, life insurance and traditional investments-based retirement accounts—and the winning combination, which provides clients with both secure income and options at various stages of life, might surprise many advisors.
No-Refund Options Double the Deferred Annuity Safety Net
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Worrying about the possibility of outliving retirement savings is often inevitable, especially for healthy clients. No-refund deferred income annuities can double the otherwise available payouts late in life, when the risk of outliving savings is the greatest. While the prospect of doubling annuity payouts appeals strongly to some clients, this option also has potential downsides.
Online Roadmap to Post-File & Suspend Strategies
By Rober Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Several Social Security planning strategies were eliminated in 2015 and clients may need to make up for retirement income shortfalls. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers an online system with calculators that can help clients. An online account can generate a realistic picture of the role of Social Security benefits will play in retirement.
Have it All: Optimizing Results with Whole Life + Indexed Universal Life Insurance
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Today’s insurance product marketplace is flooded with options and insurance carriers have answered with product innovation that allows clients to combine the guarantees of traditional whole life insurance with the upside of indexed universal life insurance (IUL). Understanding these new products can help clients experience the best of both worlds, eliminating the need to choose
Wellness Initiatives-Not Just for Employer Sponsored Life Plans
By Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes
Wellness programs have received attention in recent years—as a way to save on health insurance. Life insurance carriers have begun to include wellness programs too. These initiatives not only can help clients reduce the cost of life insurance protection, but they can actually provide a way for clients to increase their policy value.

Practice Aids

Buy Sell Agreements
Stock Redemption and Cross Purchase Agreements, Family Attribution, Business Succession Planning...
Estate Planning
Wills, Trusts, Joint Tenancy, Tenancy in Common, POD accounts, Custodial Accounts, Intestate Succession...
Business Life Insurance
Key Person Insurance, Executive Bonus, Deferred Compensation, Rabbi Trusts, Secular Trusts, Split-Dollar, ...
Retirement Planning
IRAs, SEPs, 401(k)s, Qualified Retirement Plans, ESOPs, Rollovers, Life Insurance in Qualified Plans...
Financial Planning
Disability Income Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Health Insurance, 529 Plans, Taxation of Investments...
Employee Benefits
Group Term Life Insurance, COBRA, Cafeteria Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Account...

Selected Highlights

Estate shrinkage is closely related to estate liquidity—or lack of liquidity. A certain amount of liquidity is needed to meet estate settlement costs that cause the shrinkage.
Under common law minors cannot own property in their own names. This does not mean that a minor cannot inherit an IRA or be designated as the beneficiary of an IRA; it means that their are special considerations.
Powers of appointment are a valuable tool in estate plans, because they allow for future flexibility in the ultimate disposition of the donors property which is placed in a trust.
For wealthier and more sophisticated investors 529 Plans may not be the best option to financially prepare for college.
A substantial portion of the wealth possessed by Americans today consists of IRAs, 401(k)s and 403(b)s. This article covers all the distribution rules and all aspects of trusts as beneficiaries of tax deferred retirement accounts including sample forms.
Certain high income clients who have not previously made deductible IRA contributions ought consider opening a traditional IRA this year and contributing the largest allowable nondeductible contribution they can manage.
The will approach is based upon one of two major assumptions. At the time of the interview, either the prospect has a will or doesn`t - there`s no middle ground.
Significant tax advantages can be achieved by widows and widowers who are beneficiaries of credit shelter trusts (established upon the deaths of their respective spouses), through the purchase...

Tax Facts


Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Valuation


Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), Hedge Funds, Mutual Funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Unit Trusts


Amounts Not Received as an Annuity, Amounts Received as an Annuity: Fixed Annuities, Annuity Rules: Variable Annuities, Charitable Gift Annuity, Death, Disposition, Divorce, Estate Tax, Gifts and Charitable Gifts, In General, Loss, Private Annuity, Structured Settlements, Taxation, Withholding


Bond Premium, Corporate Bonds, Inflation-Indexed Bonds, Market Discount, Municipal Bonds, Original Issue Discount, Other Issues Affecting Bonds, Short-Term Taxable Obligations (Maturities One Year or Less), Treasury Bonds and Notes


Accumulated Earnings Tax, Alternative Minimum Tax, Death Proceeds of Business Life Insurance, Estate Tax Issues, Gift Tax Issues, Premiums, S Corporations, Sale or Liquidation of Partnership Interest, Stock Purchase Agreement, Transfer of Policy








Funded Deferred Compensation (Annuities and Trusts), Unfunded Deferred Compensation



New Disclosure Regulations for Retirement Plan Service Providers





Corporations And Other Business Entities, General Rules



Abbreviations, About Summit Business Media, About the Editors, Introduction



Death Benefits, Group Permanent Insurance, Group Survivor Income Benefit, Group Term Life Insurance, Retired Lives Reserves


Employer-Provided Health Insurance, Health and Medical Savings Accounts, Health Insurance And The Estate Tax, Health Insurance And The Gift Tax, The New Health Care Reform Law


Distributions, Early Distributions, Eligibility, Employer-Sponsored IRAs, Estate Tax Issues, Filing Requirements, In General, Required Minimum Distributions, Simple IRA, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)




Cash Value Increases, Collection of Delinquent Income Taxes from Life Insurance, Creditor Insurance, Death Proceeds, Demutualization, Disability Provisions Under Life Policies, Divorce, Gift Tax Issues, Gifts and Charitable Gifts, Government Life Insurance, Life Insurance Trusts, Life Insurance: Estate Tax Issues, Living Proceeds, Policies Insuring More Than One Life, Premiums, Single Premium Whole Life Insurance Policy, Taxation Of Distribution of Life Insurance Contract, Value of Unmatured Policy




In General, Non-Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance Contract, Premiums, Reporting Requirements, Taxation of Benefits




Insurance & Employee Benefits, Investments


Employer Deduction, Plan Types And Features, Qualification, Qualified Plans And The Estate Tax, Taxation of Distributions








Dividends, Sale or Exchange, Stock Options, Stock Warrants, Worthless Securities



Amounts Received Under the Plan, Changing Issuers, Contract Requirements, Contributions, Distributions, Excise Taxes, Plan Termination, Social Security and Withholding Taxes