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This question pertains to funding a bypass trust to avoid MD estate taxes.

By way of simple example:  couple jointly holds, within a family trust, 100 shares each of company ABC and XYZ which have a combined FMV of $50,000 on the day the husband dies.

ABC has a high cost basis and XYZ has a low cost basis.  

The trust directs a bypass to be funded at death of first spouse.  Nothing has been stepped up yet.

Question:  Will the law allow the wife to move the low basis XYZ and enough of the high basis ABC to the bypass as long as it sums to $25,000?  If so, she could then step up only the shares that went to the bypass.  The end result is that she is left with high basis ABC shares.

Or, must she move one half of each position to the bypass and then step up only those shares?

The estate lawyer tells me that we can pick and choose assets and move and step up the low basis shares.  The custodian says you don't get to pick and choose. It seems that picking only low basis shares would be a loophole that would have been closed long ago.

Any thoughts?

I am looking for a few referrals for CPA's working with high net worth individuals (over 5 Mill and under 20 Mill) in Tampa or West Palm

Membership Director Spotlight
Meet J. Christopher Boyd.  Chris is as the head of Membership committee for the Massachusetts chapter of the FPA.
Like many FPA chapters, Massachusetts has been rebuilding their chapter since the great recession of 2008.  Thanks in large part to programs instrumented by Chris Boyd, membership numbers for Massachusetts have been on an increase. 
Like many advisors, family and career are integral parts of Chris’ identity.  His wife, Kristen, has her credentials and also works within the same firm. Chris’ firm, Asset Management Resources, LLC, is an RIA firm that Chris started in 2008.  Chris and Kristen, have 3 wonderful children, James (17), Ryan (15), and Caitlin (12).  While life can be hectic for the Boyd’s at time, the family dinner is sacred. “Nothing better than unwinding over a great meal, discussing the days events with my kids, and enjoying my favorite meal, my wife's secret family recipe for chicken cutlets and pasta sauce.”
In addition to family and running a practice, Chris has another interesting hobby, a 2-hour radio show that airs every Saturday afternoon 3-5 PM. Although the program centers on financial matters, it’s called "Something More".  The show allows Chris to delve into other topics of interest like community affairs, charities, and politics.  Chris confessed, “in addition to attracting prospective business, I love doing the show because it allows me to extend my influence and perhaps form or impact perceptions on various topics in the public policy debate”.

Lauren Schadle CAE
Executive Director/CEO
Financial Planning Association
Denver CO

Can anyone give me a reason to have muni-bond funds in a qualified retirement account?

I use "Money Guide Pro". I have found this to be the most comprehensive planner out there. Cash flow, risk management, asset allocation , what if scenarios, estate planning. A little bit of a learning curve but alot of capabilities.
Hope this helps.
Dan Chen  

I have a young couple as clients who have just moved to Manasquan NJ and need an attorney to help with estate planning, etc.
Would welcome all recommendations.
Thank you

Budgeting: Phase 1

 Most people (including me) do not like setting budgets or the budgeting process.  When leading an organization however, this
can determine the organizations ultimate success or failure.

Let’s take a look at what FPA-CNY considered in it’s initial budgeting process.  I’ll present it in three steps.
Interestingly enough, I found it very similar to the planning process we use with our clients on a daily basis...

The Plan is required to use the definition of compensation that is selected.  As it relates to employee deferrals, there should not be a situation where the employee deferrals don't reach the annual maximum.  I wonder if the real issue is the matching contribution.  When higher paid employees are contributing at a high deferral % - i.e. 20%, the result is that deferrals will cease by month four or five and as a result the participant doesn't receive the full amount of their matching contribution.  However, prototype plan documents allow for a selection of a "true-up" contribution which allows the administrator to look at the participant's total plan compensation at a later point in time e.g. $250k and then compare the matching contribution at the end of the year and if the participant received less than the full amount by virture of having their deferrals ceased earlier in the year, the plan then "trues-up" the match so the particpant receives the full amount of the matching contribution.

Hard to believe that we are already into August. While I am hesitant to say it.... Summer is flying by!

Earlier this year the FPA of MA enlisted the help of a new Public Relations Firm to help us take our PR effort to the next level.  

The PR Committee (members include: John Napolitano, Brad Wright, Jaime VanBiljon, Chris Chen and Barrett Costello) along with the Board and our PR Agency set out on a goal to execute a strategy that would Educate the consumer, while Advocating for our members and the profession and Participate in the discussion (as a credible Association of Financial Planning Professionals) regarding any and all financial planning matters.

So what are we doing and how can this impact you?

1. Social Media Strategy:  To be seen as credible in the eyes of publishers, editors, etc. It helps to have a cohesive Social Media Strategy.  So ,every week the FPA of MA uploads unique content regarding a range of financial planning topics to You can see this content at or

I am quite sure that everyone in this group knows, or at least knows of  Michael Kitces and probably shares my high regard for him as one of the most thoughtful members of our profession.  His recent post on the CFP Boards "Fee Only" issue raises some important issues .  I realize, of course, that this raises a host of issues so I just raise the question here amongst friends.  Is this an issue that we might want to discuss taking a position on and possibly making a recommendation to the board? Is this something we might want to advocate for on behalf of our members. Advocacy on behalf of our members, here, need not necessarily be public and, for all I know, there may be efforts being made behind the scenes.

Never one to fear "opening a can of worms".


My prospect is the CFO for a local company, and he's trying to help some of the more highly compensated employees out.  6 or 7 of the employees at this company receive bonuses every year based on company profits.  These bonuses are typically in the $250,000 range per employee, which as you can imagine is causing some real tax nightmares.  My prospect has asked if I know of any strategies the employees or the company can implement to help reduce the tax burden on these employees. 

Education and training is so important to a successful career as a CFP®.  So take advantage of the educational offerings that our Chapter provides. Remember, "the more you LEARN, the more you EARN"!

The FPA of MA’s Programming and Education Team as been working hard to bring you the best quality programs.  Each month, (second Wednesday of the Month at 4 pm), we offer a monthly webinar.  In addition, we offer symposiums each calendar quarter (Feb, May, October and December).  Next May, we are going to have a special retreat in beautiful Cape Cod.  From time to time, our partners will run special events as well.  And, we are also working on some interactive practice management conference calls.

Next month's webinar, we'll be discussing "Gold" as an alternative asset class (ways to invest, risks, tax implications and the World Gold Council).  So tune in on August 13.

Here’s a taste of other upcoming topics: behavioral finance, disability insurance planning, planning for long-term care and asset protection. This list is not exhaustive.  You can find more information about our upcoming events at

Anyone know of a good, reasonably priced eldercare law attorney in Rockland County, NY?

I have a client who needs to work with an estate attorney in New Jersey who is familiar and comfortable working with same sex couples.
Any thoughts?

Hello All,

I am curious if anyone has any unique data gathering ideas for new clients?  We have a standard questionnaire and a checklist of documents required.  To expedite the process, we have the clients sign an authorization form which permits us to speak and request information from agents, brokers, etc.  Many times, the acceptance of this authorization isn't accepted and it falls on the client, which is quite daunting for most busy professionals. 

Any thoughts would be most appreciated!

Kind Regards,

Melissa Villegas, CFP, EA

I recently completed my transition to a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA) model of financial planning and investment advisory services.  For me, the journey has been one of finding ways to simplify my life and reduce conflicts of interest with clients.  Along the way, I discovered other reasons the RIA model works for me.  It has been a liberating, self-empowering professional and personal growth experience.

Dec. 31, 2013, was a milestone on my journey. It was the day that my Series 7, 63, 24 and 66 licenses lapsed.  That meant I could no longer easily be affiliated with a broker dealer (BD).  For the first time in my career, I was truly flying solo.  It turned out to be a non-event.  The sky didn’t fall.  No seismic shift happened.  Jan. 1 was just another day in my business world, with a predictable cycle of revenue, reporting and client reviews.

A slow, careful transition process

My successful transition from dual licensing to a fee-only model was planned and executed over several years.

Yesterday, your Association, the FPA of MA, held its annual meeting.  Bill Harris and his committee planned an incredibly ambitious agenda of speakers, breakout sessions, presentations and awards.  Aided by our most incredible Admin, Kristin Beane, and her crew, we were all treated to one of the best annual meetings I have ever attended. 

- The President of the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, Eric Rosengren, spent a fascinating hour taking us step by step through the thinking of the Fed regarding interest rates and economy.

- Chris Gardner left us spellbound with very few dry eyes in house as he shared his inspirational story .  Not sure who Chris Gardner is?  Check out this link....  Chris Gardner  

- Craig Israelsen took us through a fascinating tour of a way to effectively diversify assets allowing the addition of a personal touch

-Wade Pfau shared solid expertise comparing two ways to look at Retirement Income Planning