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2016 Estate and Gift Tax

The IRS has released the 2016 estate and gift tax figures. The Estate Tax Applicable Exclusion amount will be $5,450,000 (2015 is $5,430,000). The top Federal Estate Tax Rate remains at 40%. And the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion remains at $14,000.

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What Is an Estate Plan and Why You Need One – Part 1

An estate plan is simply a set of legal documents that instruct your loved ones how to manage your assets when you pass away, and if you have young children, it identifies the persons you want to raise your children. It also authorizes the persons you choose to manage your assets and make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. An estate plan can also leverage your assets to reduce…

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2015 Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions

The 2015 estate and gift tax exemption will be $5,430,000 per person, or $10,860,000 for a married couple. (In 2014, it was $5,340,000 per person.) You won't have to worry about an estate tax unless your estate value is greater than $5,430,000 if you are single or $10,860,000 if you are married. The 2015 estate tax rate will stay at 40% for estates in excess of the exemption. The 2015 annual gift…

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New Tax Law – Game Changer

The American Tax Payer Relief Act (ATRA), enacted into law on January 2, 2013, is a game changer for estate planning. The experts are just now sorting out how much of a game changer it really is. The new law significantly increased the the estate tax exclusion amount. The estate tax exclusion amount is the amount each US person could die with before the 40% estate tax kicks in. During the last decade,…

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Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer (But She Had a Living Trust) – Now What?

For whatever reason, every year we tend to get a lot of new trust administration clients in November and December. Most people know that if their parent or grandparent had a living trust, they may be able to avoid probate. However, most people don't know what is involved in a trust administration. We've prepared a guide outlining the basic steps to administer a trust.

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2014 Estate Tax and Gift Tax Exclusion Amounts

The "permanent" estate and gift tax exclusion amounts from the American Taxpayer Relief Act are indexed each year for inflation. The IRS just released its 2014 inflation adjusted numbers.  The 2014 estate tax and gift tax exclusion amounts are: Estate Tax $5,340,000 Gift Tax $5,340,000 Generation Skipping Tax $5,340,000 Annual Gift Tax Exclusion $14,000

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Get Your Portability

The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) made "portability" permanent - well, as permanent as anything can be while Congress is still in session. Under the new law, the applicable exclusion amount for estate tax, gift tax and generation skipping tax is $5,000,000, indexed for inflation. This is the amount you can die with or the total amount you can gift during your lifetime without an estate tax or a gift tax. The…

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What You Want in Your Living Trust

The estate and gift tax was changed in a big way by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA). The applicable exclusion amount, the amount you could gift during your lifetime and the amount you could die with before estate taxes, has been a moving target the last two decades. ATRA made the applicable exclusion amount "permanent." "Permanent" at least until Congress votes to change it. The new applicable exclusion amount…

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Don’t Use a Bypass Trust

My last post was really long. Here is the quick summary. The American Taxpayer Relief Act raised the estate and gift tax exemption amount to $5,250,000, indexed for inflation. Most or you will now not have to pay estate taxes, so you won't need a mandatory bypass trust in your living trust. Better to leave your assets to your spouse in a QTIP trust or outright. That way you will save your family…

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