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Gift Now and Avoid Estate Tax

If you have a net worth of $1M or more (or as a couple, $2M or more), and act now, you could forever remove the threat of estate tax. But if you don’t act by the end of the year, you will miss a historic opportunity. The 2012 estate tax exclusion and gift tax exclusion are both $5,120,000 - way higher than they have ever been. But unless Congress and the President…

Death Tax Resurrection

The Wall Street Journal editors have written a short piece on the death tax. In the swirl of the election, no one is talking about the estate tax (well, we have been), and they should. They start with this: For all the worry in Washington and Wall Street about the January tax cliff, almost no one is paying attention to the impending reincarnation of the death tax. This is one more tax…

Lifetime Exemption Trust

Forbes has a great article on lifetime exemption trusts, aka spousal lifetime access trusts. This is a great trust strategy to gift assets to your spouse and children and remove the assets from your taxable estate, but still receive benefits from the assets.    

Gift Now Before It’s Too Late

One of my clients send me a terrific article from Concannon Miller about the urgency to make gifts and how to make gifts before December 31. It is so good, I'm posting the whole article. When it comes to making a decision about gifts and protecting assets, the main message is that, if appropriate for you, make gifts before the law changes in 2013; however there are many important nuances to the…

Advice from Jeff Bezos

From the 37 Signals blog (via GeekWire). Jeff Bezos says smart people change their mind. The smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view…

Make Gifts Before It’s Too Late

The consensus at the 2012 Southern California Tax and Estate Planning Forum is that recapture or clawback will not occur for gifts made in 2012. And even if it does, the opportunity cost of not making a gift this year will significantly outweigh any potential harm. From Prof. Samuel Donaldson: The short answer is that individuals in a position to make large wealth transfers should most definitely strike now, as the proverbial irons…

Recapture Clawback of 2012 Gifts

There is lots of anxiety among attorneys and clients about the scheduled estate and gift tax law change in 2013. In 2012, you can gift up to $5,120,000 without a gift tax. But in 2013, both the gift and estate tax exclusion drop to $1,000,000. The big concern is whether gifts made in 2012 in excess of $1,000,000 will be clawed back or recaptured and subject to estate tax. I'm attending the…

3 Things You Need

Three things you need: 1. An accountant to help take advantage of all the available tax deductions and to file returns correctly and on time. 2. Life Insurance to protect your spouse and children. Unless you are wealthy, you need adequate life insurance for your family. 3. An estate plan to protect your family and estate from probate, to make sure your children are taken care of if something happens to you…

The 3-B Plan for Emailing Busy People

Lifehacker on how to communicate with busy people. The 3-B Plan When deciding whether to read or delete an email, our brains go through this common evaluation process: 1. Who is emailing me (and is this spam)? 2. What do they want? 3. How long will this take? Getting a "pass" on all 3 of these can be tougher than it looks, especially for busy people. Here's my 3-step technique to avoid…

Plan for Your 2013 Corporation or LLC

If you think you need  to set up a corporation or LLC for your business, now is a good time. 1. The California Secretary of State now takes about 2 months to process new corporate and LLC filings. I know, this is ridiculous. It's a routine task to set up a Delaware or Oregon corporation or LLC online. But here in California, home to Silicon Valley, there is no option to file…

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