Enhanced CCH VIEWPLAN® Brings Estate Planners Up To Date

(RIVERWOODS, ILL., August 30, 2001) – Estate planning professionals can now create and present detailed, realistic estate plans that reflect the complex provisions of the latest tax law thanks to a new version of ViewPlan® software from CCH INCORPORATED (CCH), a leading provider of tax and business information and software. ($865. To order, or for more information, call 1 888 224 7377 or visit http://tax.cchgroup.com.) The latest version of ViewPlan combines and enhances the former diskette-based Vista® (estate planning) and Progeny® (generation-skipping transfer) modules, used in thousands of estate planners’ offices around the country, on a single CD-ROM. It provides practitioners with all the tools they need to accurately calculate and effectively present estate planning concepts to their clients.

"CCH’s timely coverage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 allows ViewPlan users to offer their clients plans that take into account the changing exemption amounts and tax rates mandated by the new law," said Gail Portugal, marketing manager with CCH’s Federal and State Tax Group.

"Integrating planning for estate and gift taxes into a single module is an especially significant enhancement to the new ViewPlan release in light of the new legislation. Since lifetime transfers and transfers at death will have different tax consequences under the law, it will be important for planners to thoroughly explore alternate scenarios with their clients," Portugal said.

Create, Compare Plans

Using ViewPlan, planners can create and view a virtually unlimited number of plans and compare up to three alternative plans side-by-side. Plans include scenarios such as all to spouse, no marital deduction, optimum marital deduction, variable marital deduction and more. Each scenario has built-in explanatory text and allows planners to append their own notes. ViewPlan performs federal estate calculations quickly, and also calculates the estate or inheritance tax bite for all 50 states. In addition, ViewPlan allows professionals to highlight the need for additional liquidity and offers options for funding that liquidity. ViewPlan produces colorful graphs, flowcharts, spreadsheet-like calculation reports and easy-to-understand explanatory text that can be arranged in customizable presentations, adaptable to virtually all planning options. Typical reports include:

  • Asset Detail and Asset Totals
  • Balance Sheet Reports
  • Cash Needs
  • Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Reports
  • Estate Summary Reports
  • Liquidity by Asset and Owner
  • Probate Living Trusts
  • Retirement

Realistic, Detailed Scenarios

More than ever before, the enhanced ViewPlan supports customized, realistic, detailed scenarios. For example, planners can appreciate or depreciate asset values, transfer assets by liquidation based on the fair market value (or override that value), sell specific assets and recognize capital gains in the year of liquidation. They can create realistic gifting models in which gifts are made with specific assets, value gifts based on their fair market value or a specific dollar amount and factor in generation-skipping transfers with gifting.

Planners can apply and adjust premiums for life insurance policies within the estate, adjust life insurance policies’ face amounts, cash values, or loan amounts and create generation-skipping transfers with life insurance solutions. They can specify a state of residence for clients and their spouses, which will then apply the appropriate probate expenses for each particular scenario situation.

"These are typical of the dozens of subtle enhancements added in this latest release so that planners can fine-tune scenarios to make them more detailed and reflective of their clients’ real-life situations," Portugal said.

Speed, Accuracy, Links to Research

ViewPlan is designed to speed planners’ workflow and ensure accuracy. To improve workflow, data input is organized to reflect how planners work with a specific part of a plan. They can edit existing default portfolios or create and customize new portfolios; add or remove comparison charts; arrange the order of the reports in the portfolio and preview reports before printing; customize cover pages; preview chosen scenarios before printing; and, bookmark specific scenarios to view at a later time.

With this release, a "calculations log" has been added which creates an audit trail and allows the user to actually see how the calculator arrived at given results and to quickly identify possible input errors.

To provide in-depth support for planning decisions, ViewPlan provides a direct link to CCH estate and financial planning research publications. A single click can launch CCH SmartPLANNERTM for in-depth coverage of the entire estate planning process, from development to administration.

"The combination of ViewPlan’s calculating power and compelling graphic presentations with CCH’s authoritative reporting of estate and gift tax law gives planners a complete solution to their research, planning and presentation needs," Portugal said.

Subscription Includes Newsletter

ViewPlan is available by annual subscription as a single CD-ROM disc with semi annual updates. In addition, subscribers receive the Estate Planning Review newsletter. Each monthly issue, covering a wide range of topics, keeps readers in touch with current planning techniques and key financial and estate planning developments. Estate Planning Review reports and interprets the meaning and planning implications of legislative, judicial and administrative changes.

Availability and Pricing

For more information or to order CCH ViewPlan, contact your CCH sales representative at 1 888 CCH REPS (1 888 224-7377) or visit the CCH web site at http://tax.cchgroup.com. Price for a one-year, single-user subscription is $865 plus applicable tax, shipping and handling.


CCH INCORPORATED, headquartered in Riverwoods, Ill., was founded in 1913 and has served four generations of business professionals and their clients. The company produces more than 700 electronic and print products for the tax, legal, securities, insurance, human resources, health care and small business markets. CCH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer North America. The CCH web site can be accessed at www.cch.com. The CCH Federal and State Tax Group web site can be accessed at http://tax.cchgroup.com.

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