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Estate Planning Just Got A Bit Easier

One of the most tax-beneficial estate planning changes in recent history was the ability to transfer an unused estate tax exemption from a deceased spouse to his or her surviving spouse.  Introduced by the Obama administration in 2011, this capability, known as portability, significantly changed the way trusts are...



You Inherited an IRA. Now What?

IRAs are among the simplest and best ways to transfer wealth to heirs.  In effect, you are not simply passing on a chunk of money, but rather a chunk of money with future tax-deferred or tax-free growth embedded.  However, if you are the beneficiary of an IRA, it’s important...



Better to Keep Assets In Your Estate When You Die?

If you’re a high net worth individual or family, chances are your estate planning strategy has focused on finding ways to exclude assets from your estate in order to minimize estate transfer taxes after you pass away. Gifting low-basis property while alive together with the use of bypass trusts...



‘Tis the Season for Giving

For some, the end-of-year holidays engender thoughts of helping those less fortunate. For others, it’s a time to develop strategies to save on taxes. Charitable giving allows you to achieve both goals. However, what if you would like to help but don’t yet know to which charities you would...



Sudden Wealth – Blessing or Curse?

Now that the Powerball lottery has arrived in California, I thought it would be good to talk about the impact of unexpected or sudden wealth on one’s life.  We’ve all probably dreamed at one time or another about how fantastic our lives would become if we could only win...



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Palo Alto, CA 94303

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Cognizant Wealth Advisors is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of California and in other jurisdictions where exempted.