A winning Powerball lottery ticket was recently purchased in the state of Florida, and the story provides some insight into the impact of the estate tax. Many of us have dreamed about winning a huge sum of money in a lottery of some kind. It can be quite a bit of fun to sit back and imagine everything you would do with the money. You may envision traveling around the world. One destination that you may not think about is a trip to an estate planning attorney's office. With the Powerball … [Read more...] about Big Lottery Winners Face Estate Tax Exposure
If you are in possession of assets that exceed the federal estate tax exclusion amount, you may want to take steps to intelligently reduce the taxable value of your estate. One way to accomplish this objective would be to somehow utilize resources while you are still alive for the benefit of those that are on your inheritance list. This is easier said than done because there is a gift tax in place. It is unified with the federal estate tax, and in 2014 there is a $5.34 million unified lifetime … [Read more...] about Funding 529 Plan Using Annual Exclusion
There are various different ways to give to charity when you are planning your estate. The correct choice for you is something that you should probably discuss with an experienced estate planning lawyer. Some people would like to derive income as they set aside a certain amount of money for charities. This can sometimes be done with inherent tax advantages built-in. To this end, you may want to consider the creation of a charitable remainder unitrust. Another option would be to create a … [Read more...] about Charitable Giving: Know Where Your Money Is Going
A 2013 article published on the Wall Street Journal website sheds some light on the subject of lost inheritances. You may think that most people who can pass along enormous sums of money to the next generation are setting up their estates to provide for many generations to come. In fact, the statistics tell a decidedly different tale. Seven dollars out of every ten that is inherited is lost by the end of the second generation. Statistical averages indicate that only 10% of an inheritance is … [Read more...] about How Long Will Your Financial Legacy Last?
We would like to suggest that our readers steer clear of these three common estate planning errors. Error # 1: The assumption that you will never be exposed to the federal estate tax As 2013 approached, the future of the estate tax was hazy. Unless some type of legislation was passed in the 11th hour, the estate tax exclusion was going to be reduced to $1 million in 2013, and the rate was scheduled to rise to 55%. At the last minute, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was passed … [Read more...] about Steer Clear of These Common Estate Planning Errors
In the state of New York, the name Ed Koch is certainly a memorable one. The former three-term mayor of New York City died in February, and he left behind a sizable estate. As an individual who was never married, Koch had no children. According to Forbes, he left his sister and her husband $500,000, and his sister-in-law and each of her two children got $50,000. Koch's brother died back in 1955. He also provided a $100,000 bequest to his secretary. The bulk of his estate went to his sister's … [Read more...] about Taxation Erodes Koch Estate
You have to consider the source when you are searching the Internet looking for information about estate planning. There are Internet marketers out there who sell so called "one-size-fits-all" DIY estate planning kits. Most people are logically going to take pause, thinking that legal documents are generally drawn up with the assistance of licensed attorneys. These profit motivated websites are aware of this, and they must overcome this natural, logical objection. They do so by suggesting that … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Information: Consider the Source
You should be aware of the details surrounding the federal estate tax when you are looking toward the latter portion of your life and your eventual passing. If you assume that you are not exposed to the tax and do nothing to preserve your wealth, your family may wind up paying the price later on. The dividing line that separates those who must pay the tax from those who do not have any estate tax liability is the estate tax exclusion. Under provisions contained within the American Taxpayer … [Read more...] about Are Spousal Transfers Subject to Estate Tax?
If the value of your estate exceeds the estate tax exclusion amount, which in 2014 stands at $5.34 million, it may occur to you that giving gifts may be a way to gain estate tax efficiency. This exclusion applies to taxable gifts that you give throughout your life as well as the value of your estate, so using the lifetime unified exclusion really does nothing to preserve your estate tax cushion. However, there is another exemption that you can use to give gifts in a tax-free manner. Every … [Read more...] about Increased Annual Per-Person Gift Tax Exemption in 2013
The budget deal that was struck around the new year enabled us to avoid going over what people were calling the "fiscal cliff." Tax increases would have been one of the consequences of going over this cliff, and they extended to the estate tax. If nothing would have been done to prevent it, the maximum rate of the federal estate tax would have gone up from 35% to 55% in 2013. The estate tax exclusion was $5.12 million in 2012, but it would have been trimmed down to just $1 million in 2013 if … [Read more...] about Estate Tax Rate Increased for 2013