News Tax

Married with a large estate? Why you still need a credit shelter trust.

Married with a large estate?
Why you still need a credit shelter trust

Even though portability now allows married couples to use up both spouses’ estate tax exemptions without having to make lifetime asset transfers or set up trusts, this “easier” path isn’t necessarily the better path. For couples with large estates, making lifetime asset transfers and setting up trusts can provide benefits that exemption portability doesn’t offer.

With portability, if one spouse dies and part (or all) of his or her estate tax exemption is unused at death, the estate can elect to permit the surviving spouse to use the deceased spouse’s remaining estate tax exemption. But making the portability election doesn’t protect future growth on assets from estate tax like applying the exemption to a credit shelter trust does.

Also, the portability provision doesn’t apply to the GST tax exemption, and some states don’t recognize exemption portability. Credit shelter trusts offer GST and state estate tax planning opportunities, as well as creditor and remarriage protection.

If you’d like to learn more about credit shelter trusts or other estate planning strategies for your situation, please let us know.

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Healthcare Helpful Articles

Increasing Patient Engagement in Your Practice

Increasing Patient Engagement in Your Practice

Many patients want to be involved in managing their health care. Empowering patients to schedule their own appointments and manage correspondence, refills, and prior authorizations can lead to higher levels of patient engagement and satisfaction. Patient engagement initiatives have been found to reduce hospital visits, decrease morbidity and mortality rates, improve treatment adherence, and reduce costs. How can your practice attain higher levels of patient engagement? The answer lies in how your practice incorporates technology into its day-to-day operations. Technology can play a major role in helping medical practices improve patient engagement levels.

Technology Is Key

Incorporating a technology-based infrastructure to handle a variety of typically labor-intensive tasks can help increase patient engagement. Not every patient will respond favorably to conducting health care interactions online, but patients who are already comfortable with technology will likely embrace the opportunity. Areas where utilizing technology may be beneficial include:

Online scheduling. Appointment cancellations can impact both a practice’s schedule and its revenues. Giving patients the convenience of scheduling their own appointments online may lead to lower no-show rates.

Check-in. Allowing patients to use kiosks or tablet computers to enter personal information and other relevant data before their scheduled appointment can help expedite and streamline the check-in process and increase efficiency levels throughout the practice.

Online care. Many time-consuming routine interactions, such as data collection, can be performed more efficiently online. Portals designed to allow patients to view test results and ask questions related to their care save time and increase patient satisfaction levels.

Off-site Monitoring

Devices that allow patients to monitor information related to their medical conditions and relay the data electronically can foster greater understanding among patients about how lifestyle decisions impact their health. Engaged patients may be more likely to comply with medical treatments.

Patient engagement initiatives have been found to reduce hospital visits, decrease morbidity and mortality rates, improve treatment adherence, and reduce costs.

Please let us know how we can help with your accounting and essential business service needs.

News Tax

Warning! IRS Phone Scams

Warning! IRS Phone Scams

Please be wary of any unsolicited phone calls or emails you get from individuals claiming to represent the IRS or the US Treasury. This is one of the biggest scams out there and is a crime of opportunity. Do not engage these callers, who often threaten to issue arrest warrants or involve local law enforcement if you do not cooperate. If they call you, simply hang up on them.

The IRS usually first contacts people by mail — not by phone or email — about unpaid taxes. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by email, text or any social media. And the IRS will NOT ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what you need to do:

* If you owe Federal taxes or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
* If you don’t owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation Scam” form at or call 800-366-4484.
* You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.
* Forward scam emails to Do not open any attachments or click on any links in questionable emails.

We hope you find this information helpful. Please contact us if you have any questions.