The amount you can gift to any one person on an annual basis without filing a gift tax return is increasing to $16,000 in 2022, the first increase since 2018. The federal estate tax exclusion is also climbing to more than $12 million per individual. The IRS’s announcement that the annual gift exclusion will rise for calendar year 2022 means … Read More
What is an Elder Law Attorney and Do I Need One?
Elder law is a practice area defined by the people whose legal needs are served—senior citizens. It is an area of law which grew out of the need for estate planning attorneys to address legal problems facing older clients and their children. Elder law is a remarkably diverse area of practice. It encompasses issues affecting the lives of the “elderly,” a population … Read More
CARES Act: Required Minimum Distributions (“RMDs”) for 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or “CARES” Act enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, aimed to provide financial relief and incentives to American families and businesses. The highlights many people may be familiar with are: Eligible taxpayers received $1,200 checks; Forgivable loans to businesses to maintain their employees and … Read More
Summary of the SECURE Act and Retirement Savings: What You Should Know
The most significant change to estate planning law in 2019 was the passage of the SECURE Act in late December. The Act is intended to increase and encourage retirement savings. Benefits of the SECURE Act to Retirement Savings The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, or SECURE, Act, is meant to address the fact that many Americans do not … Read More
Charitable Giving and Tax Benefits
Do you have a charity that is close to your heart? Maybe your church, your favorite animal shelter, or your alma mater. Consider including them in your estate plan and/or in lifetime gifts. If you don’t have a particular charity you want to support, but there is a cause that is important to you, like homelessness, animals, kids, education, arts, … Read More
When Should You Review Your Estate Planning Documents?
First, let’s clarify what your estate planning documents are. Of course, they include your Will and any Codicils, and perhaps your trust or trusts. But they also include any powers of attorney (both financial and health care) as well as all beneficiary designations for life insurance, retirement plans, annuities and transfer on death accounts. A thorough review of your estate … Read More
Should I Create a Trust to Avoid Probate?
Avoiding probate is a common reason for creating trusts. One thing to note is that only a funded trust will avoid probate. Meaning, only assets that have been transferred and titled in a trust will avoid probate. When properly funded, the trust document and not a Will controls the disposition of the assets and avoids the necessity of opening a … Read More
How is a revocable trust funded? Should all assets be transferred to a revocable trust?
Trusts are funded by re-titling or transferring title by deed or assignment of individual assets to the revocable trust. Assets may include stocks, bank accounts, real estate, timeshare interests, or business interests. Once assets are transferred into the trust, a schedule of assets should be attached to the trust document as this assists the trustee in the management of the … Read More
Ho Hum. Oh! Ho Ho Ho
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, also known as the Tax Relief Act of 2010, was signed by the President on December 17, 2010. For those of us interested in estate and gift taxes, we learned right away that this Act provides significant estate and gift tax relief by increasing the federal applicable exemption … Read More
President Obama Signs Tax Bill
On Friday, December 17, President Obama signed tax legislation that extends the current income tax rates and capital gain rates for two years. Below are the income tax rate schedules. The capital gain rate will remain 15% for long term capital gains. Single Filing Status [Tax Rate Schedule X, Internal Revenue Code section 1(c)] 10% on income between $0 and … Read More
No federal estate tax in 2010. No step up in basis in 2010 (except for $1.3 million). Will the Bush tax cuts expire? No more two year GRATs? What will happen in 2011? Uncertainty. Like we do not have enough of it! Are there opportunities for planning in all of this uncertainty? Here are a few: If you have an … Read More