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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...

The Commercial Real Estate Landscape – Navigating Today’s Crosscurrents

The Commercial Real Estate Landscape – Navigating Today’s Crosscurrents

For more than three years, the United States economy has been working through a massive set of disruptions related to the COVID pandemic, the subsequent policy responses, and the second-order effects of those responses including a spike in inflation, interest rate volatility, evolving living and working patterns, and accelerating technological innovation. These disruptions have touched nearly all aspects of our daily lives with significant reverberations throughout the real estate industry. Real estate is inherently cyclical and highly dependent on capital markets and debt for liquidity. Commercial real estate in particular has seen tremendous impacts from these recent disruptive forces. Transaction volume initially dropped and subsequently skyrocketed during the pandemic as stimulus and historically low interest rates drove investors into any assets offering positive yields. As a result, valuations increased as investors drove pricing higher in auction processes. Rents, particularly in the apartment and industrial sectors, increased substantially due to strong...