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
Legacy planning is something to discuss with your attorney if you feel as though you would like to cast a long shadow even after your passing. There are various things that you can do to make your influence felt, and one of them would be to set aside resources for charitable causes. One way of doing this is by starting a private family foundation. The huge foundations that are named after some of the wealthiest individuals our country has known are going to be staffed, and they incur … [Read more...] about Legacy Plan Can Include Giving to Charitable Causes
Statisticians tell us that the majority of people who are under the age of 50 do not have an estate plan in place. In fact, many people over the age of 50 are unprepared, but we will reserve that subject for another day. The point that we would like to hammer home here is the fact that younger adults, particularly adults with minor children, must make preparations for the possibility of passing away. If you are married and you have young children, what would become of your children if you … [Read more...] about Have You Planned Ahead With Your Children in Mind?
The key to successful estate planning is expertise. When you work with a good estate planning attorney to gain a thorough understanding of all the factors involved, you can make intelligent and informed decisions for the well-being of your loved ones. Some people are under the impression that you can use some kind of generic template document that you find online to execute a last will on your own. In fact, there is a lot more to it than filling in the blanks on a worksheet, and a last will is … [Read more...] about Trust Administration: Educate Yourself
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
The matter of estate administration is something to take into consideration when you are making preparations for the inevitable. Who would actually handle the hands-on tasks that will be involved in making your wishes come to fruition? When you use a last will to direct future asset transfers, the executor or executrix will be the individual who is charged with these responsibilities. The duties can be quite extensive if you have a great deal of property that must be prepared for distribution … [Read more...] about Provide Your Representative with Pertinent Information
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