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Tax, Financial and Investment Strategies


How would you react if the wealth you took a lifetime to build was suddenly reduced in half and/or distributed to others to whom you did not intend?

How much money does it take to meet the personal and family needs, in the event of your death, retirement or disability?


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  Justice BrandeisLouis D. Brandeis was a Supreme Court Justice from 1919 to 1939. The following are some of his thoughts on tax avoidance:

"I lived in Alexandria, Virginia. Near the Supreme Court chambers is a toll bridge across the Potomac. When in a rush, I pay the toll and get home early. However, I usually drive outside the downtown section of the city and cross the Potomac on a free bridge. The bridge was placed outside the downtown Washington, D.C. area to serve a useful social service: getting drivers to drive an extra mile to help alleviate congestion during rush hour.

"If I went over the toll bridge and through the barrier without paying the toll, I would be committing tax evasion. However, if I drive the extra mile outside the city of Washington and take the free bridge, I am using a legitimate, logical and suitable method of tax avoidance, and I am performing a useful social service by doing so.

"For my tax evasion, I should be punished. For my tax avoidance, I should be commended. The tragedy in life is that so few people know that the free bridge even exists."

The estate tax rates are very onerous, so it makes sense to find the free bridge.

Estate planning is the creation, conservation and utilization of family resources to obtain the maximum support and security for the family in their lifetime and after death. It certainly would be nice to pass from this world without checking in with the IRS. In a study by Cornell University, they documented the largest intergenerational transfer of all times--$12 trillion due to the baby boom generation. With no planning and the current estate tax structure, balancing the budget will not be an issue. However, our sole concern may not be the reduction of estate taxes. Family security may never be sacrificed for tax advantages. Have you formulated your final affairs with a will and appropriate trust documents?

I would like to give you one more quote from a judge, Honorable Learned Hand, who was on the U.S. Court of Appeals:

"There are two systems of taxation in our country, one for the informed and one for the uninformed."

For more information, contact:

Emerald Planning Services, Inc.
573 Millwood Road
Chappaqua, NY  10514-1317
914-241-0707 (voice)
914-864-2300 (fax)


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