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New 2013 Gift Tax and Estate Tax Rates – Now What?

Congress surprised us again and passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act (don't you love the catchy name) on January 1 to temporarily avoid the fiscal cliff. Overall, the new law is much better than the experts expected. It extends the estate tax and gift tax exclusions of 2012 and even indexes them for inflation. In 2013, you can gift $5,250,000 with no gift tax. In 2013, you can die with $5,250,000 with…

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How the Lifetime Bypass Trust Works: Attention CPAs

Many of my clients are interested in the Lifetime Bypass Trust. And some are vetting the concept through their CPAs. Here is an email (with the names removed) I have sent to several CPAs to clarify this amazing but simple planning strategy. The structure we are proposing is a lifetime bypass trust. The concept is the same as used with an A/B trust, or bypass trust. When a bypass trust is created…

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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.    

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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…

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