Showing 3 posts in Estate Planning.
An estate plan is designed to ensure a smooth transition of assets from a decedent to beneficiaries, as well as minimizing expenses, fees, and taxes associated with the transfer. Most estate planners may be concerned with the transfer of real property and other substantial assets, but what may be overlooked is the way in which a decedent’s firearms are accounted for. Failure to properly account for these items may produce unwanted results, all the way up to excessive fines and even prison time. More >
The term "portability" is used in many contexts, but in the estate planning context portability describes the way a surviving spouse can use the remainder of a deceased spouse's unused exclusion amount to further shield her or his estate from tax liability. Portability first came about in 2010 as a temporary concept in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010. It was set to expire on December 31, 2012, but Congress, in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, made portability a permanent part of the estate and gift tax exclusion. The current unified exemption for estate and gift taxes is $5.43 million (for the year 2015), so portability allows for a potentially very large tax break for a surviving spouse's estate. More >
There's a saying about death and taxes, the certainty thereof, which has been oft repeated to the point of weariness. While it is true that the imposition of taxes is a certainty, the shape and form of such taxes, especially in an estate planning context, is anything but. Just when one believes the ground to be firm in any particular tax context, the sands begin shifting. The federal estate tax has been just such an example the past several years, and estate plans should account for future uncertainty. More >