The IRS recently announced the inflation-adjusted items for 2016, including gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax amounts. The following adjustments should be considered in your estate and gift planning: • The gift tax annual exclusion for 2016 remains $14,000 (and is increased to $148,000 for gifts to a non-U.S. citizen spouse). Married couples who elect

Read more…

It is much more fun to accumulate and develop our assets than to talk about giving them up. When you transfer your personal circumstances into a well drafted estate plan, you are creating a legacy for the benefit of your family. Thank about some of the following questions when creating or updating your estate plan:

Read more…

Life insurance can certainly be looked at from an investment perspective. All one needs to do is to compare premiums paid to benefits received, incorporating the time value of money into the equation. Indeed, often times it makes a lot of sense to compare what life insurance can do versus simply investing the premiums elsewhere;

Read more…

Once your Revocable Living Trust is created, title to many of your assets should be transferred to it. You should transfer your bank accounts, certificates of deposit, investments, among others into the Revocable Living Trust. When this process is complete, you, as an individual no longer own the transferred property, your Revocable Living Trust will

Read more…

The Benefits of Gifting The obvious manner to minimize estate taxation is simply to reduce the size of your estate. It is also permissible by the Internal Revenue Service for couples to “split” gifts to a third party; this is accomplished by having the spouse “join” in the gift. Also, remember each person has a

Read more…

Joint Ownership: When is it Appropriate?? Many people own real estate or bank accounts with another person, often a spouse, adult child, other relative, or trusted friend. Some individuals “add the name” of another person to their bank account for convenience, such as having bills paid and refunds received. Others use joint tenancy as a

Read more…

Many estate plans provide for the creations of trusts after death for the benefit of a surviving spouse, children or charity. This article discusses some of the issues that arise when funding these “testamentary trusts,” whether created under a will or a revocable trust. Funding a testamentary trust requires the transfer of assets into a

Read more…

FEDERAL ESTATE TAXATION: The present Estate Tax Exemption Amount is increased to $5,430,000; this exemption amount may be reduced by certain lifetime gifts. The calculation of the taxable assets includes life insurance unless same has been transferred to a trust. The Federal Estate tax rate is also forty per cent (40%). The present law permits the surviving

Read more…