Spectrum Management Blog

By Spectrum Management Group | December 12, 2016

Dysfunction Junction: The Real Issue in Estate Planning


For years too much emphasis was placed on taxation in estate planning. Not that tax savings is not important, but it became the issue, rather than keeping the focus on the REAL issue which is family dynamics. Even we can get this wrong. When I ask a client, "what is your primary goal," they will sometimes respond "to pay as little tax as possible", to which I respond, "no problem, I can eliminate your tax burden completely. We will just leave everything to charity." After a brief silence followed by the client laughing, we see the truth: who I want to leave it to and how is the primary issue, and THEN doing what I want to do in a tax efficient manner becomes second.

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Topics: Estate Plans, Income Tax and Estate Planning

By Spectrum Management Group | December 6, 2016

When One Adult Child Needs More Help Than Another

Many parents wish to offer their adult children financial assistance when they need it, but what do they do when one child's monetary difficulties are greater than the other? How do you ensure that the child in need is covered, whether through cash infusions at the present or later, through provisions in your will? And if you do help that child more, should you let the other child or children know about the additional assistance you've offered? If you're interested in learning about handling money problems with your adult children, read more here. 

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Topics: Estate Plans, Personal Finance

By Spectrum Management Group | July 21, 2016

Negate Probate: Settling an Estate using a Trust July Lunch & Learn: Blog post recap

Probate is a hassle in many states, so trusts give us an alternative, more private manner in which to distribute the assets of a decedent. Here, we will take a chronological walk through of the estate settlement process and the critical elements of state law and document language that need to be addressed. Estates are all controlled by state law yet the fundamental responsibilities are universal.

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Topics: Estate Plans, Trust

By Spectrum Management Group | May 17, 2016

The Most Important Estate Planning Issue Boomers Need To Address

Today's article discusses the vital importance of discussing estate planning, not only for your parents but for yourself. With Americans living longer than ever, you must address how you plan to support yourself in your golden years. 

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Topics: Retirement, Estate Plans

By Spectrum Management Group | March 22, 2016

Six Creative Beneficiary Designation Ideas

We've found a really interesting article with some original ideas for making designations to your beneficiaries.  While most designations tend to go to the surviving spouse and children, there are lots of solutions here that might not have occurred to you before. It's a helpful primer to ensure that you include everyone you want remembered, such as spouses of children, children of children, and charitible causes that are meaningful to you.

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Topics: Wealth Management, Estate Plans

By Tia M. Lee | August 6, 2015

Can Your Income Predict How Long You Will Live?

We all know that money can’t buy you happiness but apparently it can buy a few more years on this earth to search for what makes you happy.  According to The Health and Retirement Study conducted by the University of Michigan, there seems to a strong correlation between lifespan and income.  The study began in 1992 to survey a nationally representative sample of adults over the age of 50 in order to understand the dynamics of our aging society.  Since its inception, The Health and Retirement Study has provided an invaluable long-term look at the complex interplay of health, work, and economic status of Americans age 51 and older.

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Topics: Health Care, Retirement, Tia M. Lee, Estate Plans

By Tia M. Lee | July 16, 2015

What Does it Mean?: Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA)

The letters CTFA stand for Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and it is a certification granted by the American Banks Association.  This designation indicates the holder has completed training and demonstrated knowledge in the following areas: trust and estate planning and administration, estate and income taxes, investment management, and financial planning. The Certified Trust and Financial Advisor mark is appropriate for financial planners, tax professionals, and trust officers that provide estate planning advice to their clients.

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Topics: Tia M. Lee, Estate Plans, Designation Description

By Tia M. Lee | July 30, 2014

Estate planning: 4 areas families must discuss

In a recent post, I covered what can happen when a parent does not talk about their estate plan with their family. Today, I am going to follow up on the topic, providing ways to communicate about estate plans while still maintaining privacy.

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Topics: Tia M. Lee, Estate Plans, Income Tax and Estate Planning

By Tia M. Lee | July 1, 2014

The case of not communicating about your estate plan

Virtually all parents believe that they should discuss financial matters with their children, but according to a past survey conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education, 69 percent of the respondents felt they had barriers to open communication. I cannot readily cite statistics about other topics families struggle to discuss -- judging by nightly TV programming, however, it appears to me that money is the only topic that is off limits. Apparently, open conversations about all things make for a closer family and well-adjusted children. 

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Topics: Tia M. Lee, Estate Plans, Income Tax and Estate Planning

By Editor | October 24, 2013

Spectrum Management Group: In the pages of today’s leading publications

In this post, we would like to highlight the media exposure of our executives at Spectrum Management Group, who are often called on by the press to lend their knowledge and expertise to current financial news. In recent months, Managing Principals Bob Phillips and Leslie Thompson have been featured in some of the nation's top print publications, from The Wall Street Journal to Money magazine.

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Topics: Company News, Markets and Investing, Bob Phillips, Retirement, Economy, Leslie D. Thompson, Media Coverage, Estate Plans, Income Tax and Estate Planning