Tag: Estate planning

Talking About Estate Planning – Part I of 2

In many families, there is an uncomfortable silence when the subjects of death and money come up. According to Eileen and Jon Gallo, authors of Silver Spoon Kids: How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children (McGraw-Hill, 2001), most adult children have no idea of their parents’ net worth, let alone the details of their estate plan.… Read More

Talking About Estate Planning – Part 2 of 2

Give your family the gift of telling them what you have planned for them. Decide who will be your executors, agents under your power of attorney and surrogate for health care decisions under a medical directive. Let the family know who is going to hold these positions. Make sure the persons you name are willing… Read More

Discussing ‘The Estate Plan’ with Beneficiaries

Estate planning aims at the transfer of wealth from one generation to another in a way which minimizes taxes and maximizes economic gain. It usually involves parents making gifts to their children, grandchildren, or charities. The problem is that while many clients spend hours with attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors crafting an estate plan, they… Read More

Year-End Tax Planning for 2015

Year-end Tax Planning for 2015 There is still­ some time left to make some income tax savings moves for 2015. Charitable Contributions Make deductible charitable contributions on or before December 31. Taxpayers must be itemizing deductions on IRS Schedule A in order to benefit. Be sure to obtain acknowledgment letters for donations greater than $250.… Read More

One Fiscal Cliff-hanger is Over

They call it the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Funny, that. Overall it produces tax increases – that’s relief? Early January 1, 2013, the Senate, by a vote of 89-8, passed the “American Taxpayer Relief Act”. Late on that same day- after the government had technically gone over the “fiscal cliff” – the House of Representatives,… Read More

You’re Getting Married – Now What?

Are you changing your name? Don’t think we’re only talking about the wife – some states allow men to adopt their wife’s last name, and some states permit civil union partners to change their names. Federal agencies generally don’t recognize name changes for men after marriage which means the man would need to go through… Read More

Joint Accounts – Yours, mine and Ours

What does it mean if your name is on someone else’s bank account? It depends. For all deposit accounts, the rights of the parties to a multiple party account are determined under the Pennsylvania Multiple-Party Account Act. A joint account is one that is payable on request to one or more parties whether or not… Read More

How Much Money Is Enough?

“Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot.” – Pirkei Avos (4:1) At my seminars on the New Tax Act, I told the audiences about the unprecedented estate planning opportunity over the next two years of making gifts. The Estate Tax, Gift Tax and Generation-Skipping Tax exemptions are all at $5 million. For… Read More

The Portable Estate Tax Exemption

The new tax law enacted in December 2010 raised the federal estate and gift tax exemption to $5 million and extended the “Bush tax cuts” temporarily for two years – 2011 and 2012. Another much-touted feature of the new law is the “portability” of the federal estate tax exemption. “Portable” means easily carried or transferred,… Read More

Deductions for Year-end Charitable Giving

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. — Winston Churchill Don’t miss out on making charitable gifts before year-end to get the federal tax rewards that are available. While we still face uncertainty about the income tax rates in 2010 and while I want to… Read More