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Category: estate tax

tax reform will be a slow process (no surprise)

tax reform will be a slow process (no surprise)

Senator Ted Cruz has given fair warning that tax reform may not be coming quite as quickly President Trump wants, and some earlier reports indicated.  The word out of Washington today is that Cruz believes that new tax reform legislation will get done “late this year or early next year.”  We know that it’s not […]

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death of the death tax? what would repeal of estate tax mean for you and me?

death of the death tax? what would repeal of estate tax mean for you and me?

The Republicans have been talking about and working on repeal of the federal estate tax for years.  Now that Trump is on his way to the White House, there are many who believe that the federal estate tax (also known as death tax) will soon be a thing of the past. In theory and principle, […]

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What’s $300 million among friends?

What’s $300 million among friends?

This relates to yesterday’s post about the recent passing of Prince and the probable court battles which are about to begin as step-family and former friends and associates of all sorts try to get their hands on a portion of Prince’s estimated $300 million estate. I was visiting yesterday with a CPA with whom I […]

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IRS Wins $388 Million in Tax Court (Forbes Article)

The IRS recently won a $388 million settlement from the estate of Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson. While this may seem to be yet another case of the ultra wealthy not paying “their share” of taxes during life and then being required to contribute a larger share after their death, there are also several valuable lessons […]

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The Estate Planning Equivalent of Sticking a Fork in a Toaster

The Estate Planning Equivalent of Sticking a Fork in a Toaster

For the transfer of highly-appreciated assets, such as real estate and stocks, it is rarely wise to give such assets to individuals during life.[1] Everyone who sees this picture of a cartoon bear sticking a fork in a toaster has the same thought, namely “that is REALLY dumb!”  And yet, a surprising number of people […]

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Gift Tax Basics Part 1–Uncle Sam May Benefit From Your Gift Giving

Gift tax is a real thing and not knowing is NOT a valid defense or an excuse that the IRS will accept. Next April, when you are filing your income tax return, don’t forget to also consider “Form 709”, which is the gift tax form.  Is everyone required to file Form 709? Nope. However, there […]

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$5.34 Million And Counting…

In a move that surprised no one, the IRS recently increased the basic exclusion amount to $5.43 million for calendar year 2015. Through Revenue Procedure 2014-61, the Internal Revenue Service followed its recent precedent of a yearly increase of the basic exclusion and also specified that there will be no increase or change in the annual […]

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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate planning blunders could result in a tax bill of more than $15 million

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died earlier this year, he left behind a very sad and likely VERY expensive estate planning mess. While a common myth about estate planning generally is that this stuff is ONLY for the wealthy (which is totally false), the ironic reality is that a surprising number of such “wealthy” neglect […]

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Will my life insurance be taxed?

Life insurance is a very important part of any estate plan.  There are a variety of different life insurance options available in the market place today and these options can be custom tailored for every possible scenario and need.  How is life insurance taxed, if at all?  Great question, glad you asked.  See below.   […]

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What is my gross estate in the eyes of the IRS?

  Last week, while doing a workshop, we were discussing this very topic.  We used the hypothetical example of “Bob and Mary” and their $700,000 estate.  When I explained that Bob and Mary were average middle-class people and that their “estate” was $700,000, I received a few strange looks.  Presumably, people were thinking that someone […]

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