Tips for Effective Public Speaking

Attorney John Ramsbacher, a partner in the California firm of Ramsbacher Prokey LLP, belongs to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and several professional estate planning organizations, and has served in leadership positions in the California Bar’s section on taxation. The author of several articles on taxation, John Ramsbacher has also given numerous presentations to audiences of attorneys and CPAs on various elements of tax law and estate planning.

Effective public speaking is an art that anybody can master. Like other arts, it is generally mastered through practice. This does not mean a speaker should either memorize or read a speech, though. It is easy to lose one’s place in either type of presentation, which can have disastrous results. In addition, there is little spontaneity in a read or memorized speech, and no sense of conversation or interaction with the audience.

Speakers must know their material inside and out, and they should also know their audiences. They can then determine what points they want the audience to take away, jot them on an index card or two, and then refer to those notes during the presentation. Practice is essential, preferably in front of a mirror. While speaking, speakers should relax and concentrate on their message, and keep in mind that the audience wants them to succeed. Once the initial nervousness has passed, most speakers comfortably slip into the rhythm they have practiced and engage in a positive, enjoyable interaction with their audiences.

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Private Foundations as a Charitable Giving Pathway

Based in San Jose, California, John Ramsbacher and his team of six attorneys offer individualized wealth management and tax planning services. Attorney John Ramsbacher emphasizes a personalized approach in exploring charitable planning pathways such as private operating foundations and grant-making.

As closely-controlled organizations, private foundations have a limited number of funding sources. With the majority of such foundations focused on making grants, operating foundations are distinct in that they oversee self-directed charitable programs and endeavors. The state- and federal-level regulations governing private foundations are extensive, and an experienced attorney is necessary to properly set up the foundation. An attorneys is also needed to ensure that the foundation complies with requirements regarding minimum annual payouts and that it does not pursue jeopardy investments. Additionally, self-dealing must be avoided between the private foundation and individuals such as officers, directors, and substantial contributors. When properly set up, a private foundation can offer numerous tax advantages that complement the social benefits it achieves. The Ramsbacher Prokey, LLP, team has extensive experience in a full range charitable giving options as well as deferred and current giving strategies.

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The Tax Advantages of Qualified Personal Residence Trusts

A respected attorney based in San Jose, California, John Ramsbacher offers clients experienced tax and estate planning services. Working with family businesses and individuals, Attorney John Ramsbacher pursues a number of strategies, including family limited partnerships and qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT). The latter offers a tax-advantaged avenue for transferring a personal residence, which can be either a vacation home or a primary residence.

Through the QPRT, the donor is able to avoid paying full transfer taxes by transferring the residence to an irrevocable trust. For the duration of a set term, the donor can continue to live in the home, after which time the residence is distributed among the remainder beneficiaries (such as the donor’s children). Also, the residence can remain in trust beyond term expiration. The primary benefit of a QPRT is derived when the donor lives past the trust term, at which point the home will have been transferred at its gift tax value, which is lower than the tax that otherwise would have been assessed. When establishing a QPRT, a trustee must be appointed and an experienced attorney, such as those at Ramsbacher Prokey, LLP, must be retained to draft an irrevocable trust.

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