estate planning

Your estate plan: Don’t forget about income tax planning

As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($12.06 million in 2022), many people no longer need to be concerned with federal estate tax. Before 2011, a much smaller amount resulted in estate plans attempting to avoid it. Now, because many estates won’t be subject to estate tax, more planning can be devoted…

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power of attorney

Complete Your Estate Plan by Adding a Power of Attorney

As you create your estate plan, your main objectives likely revolve around your family, both current and future generations. Your goals may include reducing estate tax liability so that you can pass as much wealth as possible to your loved ones. But it’s also critical to think about yourself. What if you become incapacitated and…

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letter of instruction

In Your Own Words: A Letter of Instruction Complements a Will

A smart estate plan should leave no doubt as to your intentions. Writing a letter of instruction can go a long way toward clearly communicating all of your thoughts and wishes. The letter, unlike a valid will, isn’t legally binding, but can be valuable to surviving family members. The devil is in the details Although…

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dynasty trust

Perfect Timing: Why Now is as Good a Time as Any to Create a Dynasty Trust

A dynasty trust can preserve substantial amounts of wealth — and shelter it from federal gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes — for generations to come. Leveraging your GST tax exemption is a key to the success of a dynasty trust. The good news is that this trust type is now more appealing than…

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estate tax

Why It’s Important to Plan for Income Taxes as Part of Your Estate Plan

As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($11.58 million in 2020), many estates no longer need to be concerned with federal estate tax. Before 2011, a much smaller amount resulted in estate plans attempting to avoid it. Now, because many estates won’t be subject to estate tax, more planning can be devoted…

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spousal lifetime access trust SLAT

The Spousal Lifetime Access Trust: Uncertain Economic Times Call for Flexibility

One of the many lessons resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn is that it’s imperative to build flexibility into your estate plan. Indeed, many people had been taking advantage of the current, record-high gift and estate tax exemption by gifting assets tax-free to family members. But then circumstances drastically changed earlier this…

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transfer wealth

Current Conditions are Favorable for Cost-Effective Wealth Transfers

The ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken a terrible toll on the economy. But the current low-interest-rate environment coupled with depressed asset values means that now may be a good time to transfer wealth to your children and grandchildren. Consider making gifts For 2020, the federal gift and estate tax exemption is an inflation-adjusted…

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fair market basis rules

Take Advantage of a “Stepped-Up Basis” When You Inherit Property

If you’re planning your estate, or you’ve recently inherited assets, you may be unsure of the “cost” (or “basis”) for tax purposes. Fair market value rules Under the fair market value basis rules (also known as the “step-up and step-down” rules), an heir receives a basis in inherited property equal to its date-of-death value. So,…

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closely-held business tax releif

Do You Own a Closely-Held Family Business?

Sec. 6166 may help ease the sting of estate taxes Assets such as an illiquid closely-held business can pose unique estate planning challenges. Indeed, even with the gift and estate exemption amount at an inflation-adjusted $11.58 million for 2020, these taxes can continue to be burdensome if a family has a significant amount of wealth…

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