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Regularly reviewing existing estate plans is a good financial practice, and the looming change to the lifetime estate/gift tax exemptions at the end of 2025 makes now an opportune time to review your plans. Two powerful tools in estate planning are time and interest rates. With time, the more you have remaining, the greater the number of estate planning options available to you. With interest rates, the lower the prevailing rates, the more likely investments can achieve excess returns, thus the more attractive many strategies become. The ultra-low interest rates of the past decade were a boon for many estate planning strategies, but the increase in interest rates does not mean the end of effective estate planning opportunities. Indeed, there are a handful of strategies that become even more attractive in a higher interest rate environment. Rising interest rates influence the effectiveness of various estate planning tools. Leveraging these tools...

Education Funding as a Wealth Transfer Strategy: A Valuable, Narrow Opportunity

Education Funding as a Wealth Transfer Strategy: A Valuable, Narrow Opportunity

The cost of a college education is typically the first great expense a young person encounters.  According to the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (, an average in-state public college will run roughly $24,000 for the 2023-2024 year and a little more than $100,000 for a four-year degree.  Meanwhile, the average private college will cost about $55,000 for a starting freshman and could total more than $230,000 over the course of four years.  Herbert Stein, an American economist, famously said, “If something cannot go on forever it will stop.”  The growth of college costs will peak at some point and then recede; when that will occur is much more difficult to predict. Until that time, we will address circumstances as they currently are—how to finance this significant expenditure and how to view saving for college as a wealth transfer strategy. For the purposes of this piece, we will assume that our future...