Most everyone knows that each American can pass nearly $13 million in assets before worrying about an estate tax. In addition, it’s possible to pass an unlimited amount to a spouse without incurring any tax. Of course, to obtain the benefit of the unlimited marital deduction, the amount passing to the spouse must meet specific requirements. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Understanding and Manipulating Estate and Gift Taxes
Disclaimers are an effective Estate Planning tool for the Trust and Estate Practitioner. They allow the disclaimant to alter an Estate Plan if they follow the statutory requirements exactly. Disclaimers can be tricky but when used correctly, achieve great results for a client. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about What It Means to Disclaim
Revocable Trusts offer many great benefits for the grantor and the beneficiaries both during life and after death. Grantors or creators of the trust retain the right to amend, revoke, alter, or change the trust during their lifetime. Well-written trusts contain explicit directions regarding how the change needs to occur. A recent Michigan case explores what happens when a trust lacks that clarity. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Should In Re Gregory Hall Trust Change the Way We Think About Amending Trusts?
Joint trusts offer clients many benefits both during life and after death. Those with joint trusts need to understand the limitations inherent in the trust and the importance of seeking qualified counsel upon the death of the first spouse to ensure that the trust administration runs smoothly. A recent Michigan case highlights what happens when the surviving spouse fails to do that or simply ignores the terms of the trust altogether. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about The Joy in Joint Trusts
As another tax season closes, it’s a good time to review the list of “Dirty Dozen” tax schemes published by the Internal Revenue Service for the year. Many of these schemes peak during tax time and involve fraudsters looking for ways to steal taxpayers’ money, personal information, and data. Attorneys can help their clients by alerting them to these scams and providing advice on how to avoid them. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about The IRS’ Annual Warning: The 2023 Dirty Dozen
People often believe that Estate Planning is a “simple” process designed only for those whose estates will exceed the Applicable Exclusion Amount of $12.92 million in 2023. That myopic view causes many who should undertake Estate Planning to skip it altogether or to look for ways to complete the planning on their own without the services of a qualified Estate Planning attorney. As the last article in this two-part series demonstrated, numerous taxes impact Estate Planning. This second part of … [Read more...] about How Tax and Non-Tax Considerations Impact Estate Planning – Part II
Estate planning often focuses on taxes at the federal level and often overlooks issues that occur at the state level. For anyone desiring to undertake comprehensive estate planning, it’s important to understand the impact that the taxes imposed by the individual’s state of residence have on the plan as well as the character and type of assets allowed by the state. Estate Planning is complex and requires an expert in these matters to advise clients properly. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about How Tax and Non-Tax Considerations Impact Estate Planning – Part I
Retirement plans offer a terrific opportunity for taxpayers to save for their retirement in a tax-deferred way. While several types of these plans exist, most individuals have some level of familiarity with the Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”). IRAs have limits on the allowable contributions and a schedule regarding when distributions need to begin occurring. Recently, the Biden Administration released its Fiscal Year Revenue Proposals for 2024 that contained a provision regarding … [Read more...] about What’s in President Biden’s Revenue Proposals?
When determining whether an individual qualifies for Medicaid, states impose both functional and financial tests. Functional means that the applicant must demonstrate medical need. Financial means that such an individual must demonstrate financial need. With proper planning though, it’s possible to meet the financial need prong even if assets exceed the threshold amount set by the state. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Medicaid Planning
When Bruce Willis announced his retirement from acting because of aphasia, it sent shockwaves through Hollywood and across the country. Just a few weeks ago, Bruce’s family indicated that the disease had progressed to frontotemporal dementia highlighting the importance of incapacity planning. While Estate Planning typically focuses on planning for what happens at death, a comprehensive Estate Plan includes provisions regarding what happens during life should an individual become incapacitated. … [Read more...] about What Bruce Willis Can Teach Us About Incapacity Planning