February 2016
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Doron M. Tisser
Doron M. Tisser is the founder of Tisser & Standing LLP and has been designated as both a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law as well as a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He has been selected as a Top 100 Super Lawyer in Southern California since 2011 and a Super Lawyer for Southern California Since 2009.
Brian H. Standing
Brian H. Standing is a partner of Tisser & Standing LLP and has received his designation as a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.


What's Happening
Doron M. Tisser, Esq. Named Super Lawyer

Doron M. Tisser has been named a Super Lawyer for 2016 in the field of Estate Planning by his peers.  In addition, his point total in the nomination, research and blue ribbon review process put him in the top 100 attorneys in Southern California.  Only 5% of all attorneys are selected by their peers as a Super Lawyer.  This is the 8th year in a row he has been awarded this honor.

New Associate Heather Hunt Scott, Esq.

Tisser & Standing LLP is proud to welcome Heather Hunt Scott, Esq. as an associate attorney in our firm. Heather has worked with us as a law clerk while attending law school, and she will be practicing in the areas of estate planning and trust administration. Heather can be reached at heather.scott@tisserlaw.com.

Tisser & Standing LLP Is Moving

Effective February 15, 2016, Tisser & Standing LLP will be moving its office to:
                        16030 Ventura Blvd.
                        Suite 260
                        Encino, CA 91436
Our phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same. We will be closed on Friday, February 12 while we are moving.

Why Life Insurance?
As the amount that can be left estate-tax free increases each year ($5.45 million as of 2016), clients continue to ask me why they should keep their life insurance or whether they should even be considering the purchase of new life insurance.

Historically, a significant portion of life insurance was purchased for the purpose of planning for estate taxes. The insurance proceeds at death create liquidity for an estate, ensuring that cash will be available to pay the estate tax, and other assets can be retained and passed down in the family. For those families that do need life insurance to help pay for estate taxes, they should review how the life insurance is owned to make sure that the life insurance proceeds themselves will not be subject to estate taxes.

For those families that do not need life insurance to help pay estate taxes under the current law, there are other reasons why life insurance is an important estate planning tool.

Income Replacement
Your family may lose income if you or your spouse were to pass away. The loss of income may result in your family being forced to move, or may create other economic issues, including not being able to pay for education.
Life insurance can serve as an income replacement to help your family continue to pay for their expenses.
Beneficiary Planning
Many families have a significant asset, such a business or rental estate, in which one child is actively involved and another is not. If all of the assets are left equally to the children, the child who is not involved in the business now owns a portion of the business or real estate but otherwise has nothing to do with it. This can create problems between the siblings and issues with continuing management of the enterprise.
By purchasing insurance, a family may create enough liquidity at death to allocate a specific asset to one beneficiary and provide cash to the other beneficiary, ensuring that everyone benefits equally, and the business (and sibling relationship!) is not adversely affected.

Business Planning
Co-owners of a business often enter into a buy-sell arrangement which states, in general, that if one owner dies, the other co-owner will buy the deceased's family out of the business. This allows the deceased's family to benefit from the business but gives the surviving owner full ownership and control of the business.
Similar to the beneficiary planning discussion above, the dilemma is how the surviving owner will pay for the portion of the business to be purchased. In order to avoid having an ongoing debt to the family and to avoid having this debt show up on the books of the business, each owner should purchase insurance on the other in an amount sufficient to buy out the deceased's share of the business. The surviving owner collects the life insurance proceeds and pays them to the deceased's family in exchange for the interest in the business.
Whether existing life insurance should be kept, or new insurance should be purchased, is a discussion that everyone should have with their estate planner and other advisors on an ongoing basis. Existing policies should always be reviewed to ensure that the insurance is still appropriate based on its original purpose and changing circumstances.
Additionally, the trustee of an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) should meet with the trustee's advisors at least annually to discuss tax and other considerations which are essential to carrying out the purpose of the insurance.
Finally, a review of the beneficiary designations should always be part of reviewing the policy itself, since all of the planning discussed in this newsletter requires the insurance to be paid out in a specific way upon the death of the insured.
Tisser & Standing LLP | (818) 226-9125 | info@tisserlaw.com | http://www.tisserlaw.com
16030 Ventura Blvd., Suite 260
Encino, CA 91436