Tag: Estate planning

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

Legalese v. Plain English

Question: What do you get when you cross the Godfather with a lawyer? Answer: An offer you can’t understand. The nature of our legal system, which is often referred to as a “common law” system, is that it depends heavily on precedent. That means that the outcome in a current case is determined by reference… Read More

Inheriting a Roth IRA

An inherited Roth IRA is truly a “gift that keeps on giving.” It is an exceptional estate planning tool. When deciding whether or not to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, most people (or their advisors) “run the numbers.” The cost and benefits of a Roth conversion is compared to the status quo… Read More

Interest Rates on Loans to Relatives and Friends

Many loans among family members are interest free. Be careful. If you loan money to a relative or friend, there may be income and/or gift tax consequences if there is no interest or if the interest is below the market rate. For loans of $10,000 or less, you don’t have to worry about any of… Read More

The Tax Ramifications of Getting Married

So you’re getting married? Did you invite the IRS to the wedding? On the list of things to do from hiring the hall, choosing the caterer, and mailing the invitations, don’t forget a visit to your tax advisor. The first thing you will learn about is the marriage penalty. The marriage penalty is a holdover… Read More

Marital Deduction Portability

Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced the Taxpayer Certainty and Relief Act of 2009 on March 26, 2009. The tax bill includes a $2.3 trillion middle class tax cut package and also creates a freeze on estate tax rates and major estate planning modifications.  Read Greg Herman-Giddens blog post about it here. In… Read More