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
Your net worth is an important piece of information to have in hand when you are discussing things with your estate planning attorney. The federal estate tax can reduce the legacy that you pass along to those that you love. As a result, you must know where you stand with regard to the estate tax exclusion at all times. If the total value of your assets does not exceed the estate tax exclusion, you are in the clear; however, if your assets exceed the exclusion, you are going to have to work … [Read more...] about Keep Track of Your Net Worth
Sometimes you hear about an estate planning case that seems a bit bizarre, and this is certainly true when it comes to the case of the Robert Rauschenberg sculptural combine "Canyon." "Canyon" would be a very valuable work of art except for one thing: It can never be sold. The sculptural combine features a stuffed bald eagle. Due to federal regulations you cannot buy or sell a member of the species. This combine was the property of noted art dealer Ileana Sonnabend at the time of her death. … [Read more...] about Artistic Work Donated to NY MOMA to Settle Estate Tax Dispute
Giving something back to others is something to consider when you are contemplating your legacy. Any act of generosity is obviously going to be personally rewarding, and as you advance in age you may be all the more interested in doing something for others. From a financial perspective there can actually be some tax advantages that go along with certain acts of giving as well. This is something that you would want to discuss with a highly qualified estate planning attorney. Celebrities are … [Read more...] about Hagman Legacy Includes Charitable Foundation
People who are living on a fixed income can have a difficult time reacting to ever rising expenses. This is something to take into consideration when you are engaged in your retirement planning efforts. Planning ahead for your retirement years involves making accurate projections regarding your future debits and credits. With this in mind, you should certainly evaluate your anticipated property tax responsibilities. There is a certain confluence that can be troublesome when you have achieved … [Read more...] about Avoid Tax Liens Through Careful Retirement Planning
Estate planning attorneys are always going to remind clients about the fact that your planning efforts should be seen as important and ongoing. There is a great deal in the balance when you consider the potential ravages of the federal estate tax so you want to be optimally prepared at all times. With the above in mind, 2012 is a very significant year. Throughout the rest of this year the estate tax exclusion is $5.12 million, but it is going down to just $1 million in 2013. The maximum rate … [Read more...] about Your Property May Expose You to Estate Tax in 2013
Any time you give someone a gift, you are engaging in a taxable act. This is something that will go over the heads of most people because there is a $13,000 per year annual gift tax exemption. You can give gifts totaling this amount to any number of recipients each year without exposing yourself to the gift tax and its current 35% rate. Most people don't give gifts exceeding this amount to any one individual during a given year so it is usually not a factor. However, sometimes there are … [Read more...] about Can I Pay Someone’s Medical Bills as a Gift Tax-Free?