Estate Planning Estate Tax

Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the... more +
Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the disposition of assets, guardianship of minor children, and appointment of representatives to make medical and financial decisions. Effective estate planning can decrease tax liability and facilitate the probate process.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Trial & Heirs: 5 Estate Planning Stumbling Blocks

Last month, Prince died at the ripe young age of 57. He had no will, as reported by his only full sibling (a sister). She filed for probate of his estate in Minnesota, where he owned a home in Paisley Park. Under Minnesota...more

Planning for the $5-$10 Million Couple: Portability or Credit Shelter?

In 2009, each individual had a $3.5 million estate tax exemption. If a married individual had assets over $3.5 million, without careful planning, those assets in excess of $3.5 million would fall subject to a 45% estate tax....more

Four Lessons Learned from Prince’s Estate (So Far)

Several of the events surrounding the initial administration of Prince’s estate provide lessons applicable to all estate plans, not just celebrity estate plans. If You Don’t Have an Estate Plan, the State Will Write...more

Estate Tax Changes Past, Present and Future

I. INTRODUCTION - This outline is a selective and evolving review of the history of the modern federal estate tax. It originated during the attempts to repeal the estate tax in President Clinton’s second term and...more

Three Ways to Guard Heirs From Big Wine Realty Tax Bill

Estate-planning is often focused on reducing or eliminating estate tax at death. As the estate-tax exemption has increased in recent years — currently $5.45 million and counting — there is a shift to planning for income and...more

5 Reasons Not to Put off Your Estate Planning

As the tabloids reveal that Prince died without a Will, and his family heads to court to divvy up the estate, here are five reasons you should make a thorough inventory of your assets and set up an estate plan now...more

Forget That Prince Had No Will, What About the Estate Tax Problems?

There has been a fair amount of buzz in the days after Prince’s death about his estate plan, whether he has a Will, whether he did or did not do any planning. Time will see this out. Prince’s heirs at law appear at this time...more

Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Life insurance can play an important role in estate planning. It is important to understand the uses and purposes of life insurance and the tax consequences of owning a policy and receiving a death benefit....more

Recent Changes in Estate Planning Laws May be Cause for Review of Your Estate Plan

Recent change in tax laws have many people rethinking their estate plans. Also, changes in the normal course of life make it a good idea for persons with estates that range from small to large to review wills, trusts, powers...more

Who Gets the Little Red Corvette? We’ll Never Know. The Importance of Having a Will.

Prince was not the first famous person to die without a Will. Others who died intestate include: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Howard Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sonny Bono and Pablo Picasso. Dying intestate is...more

Split to Be Tied!

Looking Beyond the Morrissette Decision and Around the Corner for Inter-Generational Split Dollar - Overview - I have had the opportunity throughout my career to know top life insurance agents as well as several top...more

Tax Law Blog: Prince's Estate Plan (or lack thereof)

News sources are reporting that court documents filed last week indicate Prince died intestate, meaning he did not have a will. His sister filed the paperwork, stating to her knowledge he did not have a will and requesting...more

Prince: The Lost Legacy of an Estate Plan Untold

You may not have produced over 30 albums, accrued over $300 million and an equivalent amount of fans as Prince, but, like the recent pop star, you too have a legacy that could impact many individuals around you. The term...more

"New Connecticut Laws Limit Transfer Taxes for Some Decedents, Increase Probate Fees for Most Estates"

Connecticut has implemented changes to its transfer tax and probate laws that affect nearly every decedent leaving even a modest estate via will or nonprobate transfer (such as a revocable trust). A new $20 million cap for...more

Estate of Clara M. Morrissette Secures Victory in Groundbreaking Estate Tax Case

In a case of first impression, the United States Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer whose estate planning focused on the preservation and succession of a 70-year-old family-owned business. In Estate of Clara M....more

Paradox of Mental Incapacity in State Estate Tax: How Moving Your Elderly Parent from Florida May Generate an Unexpected Estate...

It is a difficult enough for families to come to grips with having to care for an elderly parent that may no longer be able to live on their own. After coming to terms with this unfortunate reality, the next steps often...more

Post-Death Action Reduced Amount of Estate Tax Charitable Deduction

Decedent died and left a majority stake in a real property management corporation to a private foundation. The estate tax value of the stock was $14.182M. After the decedent’s death, but before the stock was transferred...more

The Use Of Trusts In Business Succession Planning

The transition of a family owned or closely-held business is an important event for estate planning clients. Historically, the use of trusts has played an important role in business succession planning. Recent changes to the...more

Plan Ahead to Avoid or Minimize US Estate Tax

If you are not a US resident or a US citizen and are considering buying assets in the US, there are ways to avoid or minimize US estate tax on those assets. ...more

Estate Planning and Administration – Be Prepared for the Year That Follows the Death of a Loved One

The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event and it can be among the most challenging of times to make important financial decisions. Proactive planning with an attorney and financial planner can significantly lessen the...more

Parties Settle Closely Watched Tax Court Cases Involving Defined Value Clause

The IRS and executors have settled two cases in the United States Tax Court involving members of the Woelbing family, who own Carma Laboratories, Inc., of Franklin, Wisconsin, the maker of Carmex skin care products, and a...more

Estate Tax Changes Past, Present and Future

I. INTRODUCTION - This outline is a selective and evolving review of the history of the modern federal estate tax. It originated during the attempts to repeal the estate tax in President Clinton’s second term and...more

New Basis Reporting Requirements for Executors and Beneficiaries

Recent federal legislation adds fresh compliance burdens to an old concept in federal tax law: the step-up in tax basis of appreciated property at death. New reporting requirements will apply to estates required to file a...more

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) and Sales to Grantor Trusts

I. Introduction - A grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) or an installment sale to a grantor trust can be useful in transmitting wealth in a tax-efficient way, and often one of these techniques is superior to other...more

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Five

Action Item: This is the fifth installment of our Annual Estate Planning Newsletter, and focuses on foreign matters. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016 estate and tax planning is in...more

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