Did you know that one of the most effective estate-tax-saving techniques is also one of the simplest and most convenient? By making maximum use of the annual gift tax exclusion, you can pass substantial amounts of assets to the younger generations without any gift tax.
In fact, by giving the maximum gifts in December 2021 and again in January 2022, you can reduce your estate by six figures if you’re being generous to multiple beneficiaries. (more…)
An art collection is a special asset to account for in an estate plan.
It goes without saying that your art collection, including paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of art, can represent a significant portion of your estate. Thus, it’s critical to account for these assets in your estate plan.
While you can apply many traditional estate planning strategies to an art collection, this asset type can present unique challenges. Of course, you’ll want to preserve the value of your collection and avoid unnecessary taxes but knowing how your collection will be managed and displayed after your death may also be of importance. (more…)
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably encouraged your elderly relatives to list of all their assets and contact information, including passwords to online accounts. This will enable you or other family members to access vital information at times when you must act on their behalf. (more…)
While, ultimately, you create an estate plan to meet technical objectives, such as minimizing gift and estate taxes and protecting your assets from creditors’ claims, you should also consider “softer,” yet equally critical, goals. Because you’ve spent a lifetime building your wealth, it’s important to educate your children or other loved ones on how to manage wealth responsibly. In addition, you may want to promote shared family values and encourage charitable giving. Using a “family advancement sustainability trust” (FAST) is one option to achieve these goals. (more…)
Estate tax planning can become complicated when multiple parties are involved. For example, you may be concerned about providing assets to a surviving spouse of a second marriage, while also providing for your children from your first marriage. Of course, you also want to take advantage of favorable estate tax provisions in the law.
Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple way to meet your objectives with few dire tax consequences. It’s commonly called a spousal lifetime access trust (SLAT). (more…)
Suppose you’re contemplating a bold move — literally: pulling up stakes and moving to a foreign country. There are many possible reasons for this drastic change of scenery. For example, you may be enticed by a new career opportunity, looking to retire to a warmer climate, or wanting to live closer to loved ones.
Regardless of whether you’re targeting a move “across the pond” or to a tropical paradise or elsewhere, be aware of the estate tax planning implications. (more…)
By Christine Collins Madrid, CPA, Tax Director
The past few years have been a roller coaster between the pandemic, the California wildfires, and the political climate. We have seen massive tax acts enacted, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that doubled the estate and gift tax exemption to $11.7 million for single filers and $23.4 million for joint filers (indexed for inflation). (more…)
It’s been said repeatedly: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Yet many individuals often disregard this saying. And it comes back to haunt them or their heirs at a future date.
If you’ve built up a substantial nest egg over the years, it’s likely you feathered it through various investments. This growth may have been fueled by one or two specific stocks. For instance, if you acquired Amazon or Apple before those stocks took off, you may be sitting on a goldmine. (more…)
There are many obstacles in the path to estate planning. One of the more difficult to overcome is when an elderly parent or family member refuses to cooperate or even acknowledge the need for estate planning measures. And this could lead to problems — such as family feuds and potential financial disasters — down the road.