Category Archives: Estate Tax

‘Permanent’ transfer tax relief at last

For the first time in more than a decade, Congress has enacted a permanent set of estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax rules. While Congress can always change the law, there is no automatic “sunset” or change built into the current law.

Read more at Lexology…

“Fiscal cliff” agreement changes gift and estate tax law

The last-minute “fiscal cliff” agreement enacted on January 2, 2013, contains important provisions that affect estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Further changes could be ahead as Congress debates the debt-ceiling issue and the president releases the next federal budget.

Read more at Lexology…

When should you look a gift horse in the mouth?

Contrary to the old saying, on occasion it does pay to look a gift horse in the mouth. That is the lesson learned by the donees in United States v. MacIntyre, 109 AFTR 2d 2012-XXXX, (6/7/2012), one of a number of cases brought by the government involving a 1995 sale by J. Howard Marshall II of stock in Marshall Petroleum, Inc. back to the company shortly before his death. The issue in this case is not about who is liable for the unpaid gift tax as that issue was decided in other cases discussed below and referred to as MacIntyre I and MacIntyre II. Since this case seemed to be the third strike against the donees of this indirect gift, this case is referred to as “MacIntyre III”.

Read more at Lexology…

Helping High Net Worth Clients to Act Before Possible Cut in Tax Exemptions

For high-net-worth clients, there are less than four months left to avoid the effects of potentially severe tax changes. Many advisors have undoubtedly been beseeching wealthy clients to take advantage of existing gift, estate and generation-skipping tax exemptions of $5.12 million and other wealth-transfer planning opportunities while they can. The zero hour is assumed to be Dec. 31, but could potentially be sooner if President Obama is reelected and pushes legislation through the lame duck session of Congress.

Read more at Financial Planning…

Final Decisions: Check your Living Wills and Health Care Documents

I have always advised my clients on estate planning issues, particularly end-of-life concerns, such as living wills and health care powers. Admittedly, I never gave these documents too much thought since I felt that, once they were in place, the decisions would take care of themselves. I was wrong.

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Gift tax exemption may be lower in 2013

This practice update outlines an estate planning strategy that may appeal to wealthy married clients who wish to use the $5 million federal gift tax exemption before it potentially reverts to a much lower level on January 1, 2013. The strategy involves each spouse creating and funding a trust with up to $5 million in assets for the benefit of the other spouse and, ultimately, the children or other heirs. During their joint lifetimes all of the assets are essentially available to provide for both spouses. When one spouse dies, the trust created for that spouse begins to benefit the children or other heirs. Meanwhile, the trust created by the deceased spouse continues to benefit the surviving spouse for the rest of his or her lifetime.

Read more at Lexology…

Fidelity: Retiree Medical Care Will Cost as Much as House

A 65-year-old couple retiring in 2012 is estimated to need $240,000 to cover medical expenses throughout retirement, according to the latest retiree health care costs estimate calculated by Fidelity Investments. This is a 4% increase from last year, when the estimate was $230,000.

Read more at AdvisorOne

Americans Lack Understanding, Concern for Disabilities’ Effects

Despite the risks posed by disability in retirement, many Americans don’t understand their chances of becoming disabled, a report released May 8 by the American College found.

The vast majority of Americans don’t realize arthritis is the leading cause of disability. Thirty percent believed workplace accidents were the main cause of disabilities. Back and spine problems were the second most common cause of disabilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control, far more common than the next leading cause of disability, heart trouble.

Read more at AdvisorOne

Disposition of digital assets: reasons for digital estate planning

Death in the digital age is a lot more complicated than it used to be.  Traditionally, fiduciaries and family members start administering an estate by reading the individual’s mail and sorting through records at the person’s home.  However, with online accounts and paperless billing, these traditional approaches may not be available to fiduciaries today.  The information needed to locate and access tangible and digital assets is often in the digital world itself.  Email accounts are typically the primary access point to all other online assets.  Online statements, notifications, messages, paperless bills etc., will all come through to the decedent’s emails.  Moreover, the decedent’s address book and calendar are often tied to or stored within the email account.

Read more at Lexology

The Role of the Board in Family Business Succession

A relatively unexplored area of family business research is the role that an active, independent board of directors can play in perpetuating the family business from one generation to the next. A recently published book, Building A Successful Family Business Board, seeks to close that research gap. In fact, according to the book’s authors, an active, independent board can serve as an objective steward, overseeing the creation and execution of a leadership succession plan that works for both the business and the family.

Read more at Registered Rep

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