The big financial news that was on everyone's mind at the end of the year involved the possibility of the United States going over what was being called the "fiscal cliff." If the powers that be did not come up with some type of new legislation certain tax increases and spending cuts would have been implemented. One of these tax increases would have been applied to the federal estate tax. The maximum rate of the tax was scheduled to rise from 35% to 55%, and the exclusion would have gone down … [Read more...] about Budget Compromise Changes Estate Tax Rate
There is an old Kenny Rogers song that gives out some free advice: "Don't ever count your money, when you're sittin' at the table." This strategy may be good for gamblers, but it is something to avoid when it comes to estate planning. The estate tax can do a lot of damage to your financial legacy. Not everyone is exposed to the tax, but if you are you must work with an experienced estate planning attorney to take steps that provide estate tax efficiency. How is tax responsibility evaluated? … [Read more...] about Net Worth Statement Invaluable When Calculating Estate Tax Exposure
The year is rapidly coming to a close and when it does the unified gift/estate tax exclusion is going to be reduced to just $1 million. This is a very significant reduction because the exclusion has been $5.12 million throughout 2012. Because of the above giving gifts in 2012 can provide you with tax efficiency if your resources exceed $1 million in value. Once the new year arrives anything that you were to give away while you are alive or after your passing that is in excess of $1 million … [Read more...] about As 2012 Wanes Gifting Opportunity Fading Away
There is an estate tax on the federal level that is poised to consume a significant portion of your legacy if you do not take preventative actions, but there are some exemptions. This year the first $5.12 million that you pass along is exempt. However, next year this figure goes down to $1 million. A common tax exemption question arises about bequests that you leave to your spouse. If you bequeath resources to your husband or wife will these assets be subject to the federal estate tax? The … [Read more...] about Is Inheritance Received From Spouse Taxable?
Anyone who takes financial planning seriously knows that you must adjust to ever-changing market conditions. This adaptivity is something to apply to estate planning as well. If you go forward feeling as though you have everything in place because you executed an estate plan in the past without paying attention to relevant changes that come down the pike you could be taking some big risks. One of the things that should set off the alarm that motivates you to make an appointment to speak with … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Be Alert as Circumstances Change
If you want to transfer assets to your loved ones while you are still alive these transfers are potentially subject to the federal gift tax. This tax is unified with the estate tax and there is a $5.12 million unified exclusion at the time of this writing in 2012. (It is scheduled to be reduced to $1 million in 2013.) What this means is that gifts that you give during your life using this exclusion will reduce the exclusion amount that is left when your estate is being transferred to your … [Read more...] about Gift Tax Not Imposed in Some Instances
Individuals who reside here in the Low Country who are in a position to leave a lasting legacy must develop a solid working relationship with a seasoned and savvy South Carolina estate planning attorney. The fact of the matter is that things are always changing, and when you are in possession of significant financial resources you can be exposed to considerable damages if you go any length of time without making the appropriate adjustments. What types of changes are we referring to here? For … [Read more...] about Ongoing Adjustments Essential for High Net Worth Families
Paying your fair share of taxes is one thing, but what exactly is fair? Is a tax that is levied due to the event of your death really necessary and fair? The above questions are asked by critics of the federal estate tax, which is often referred to as the "death tax." It is true that the trigger that generates the tax bill is the death of an individual with resources exceeding the exemption amount, so in a very real sense it is a death tax. One of the arguments that is presented by those who … [Read more...] about 2013 Estate Tax Rate: Is That a Misprint?
A lot of people who own farms and ranches work hard to make a good living. However, they may not earn so much as to be considered wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. As a result, their savings may be relatively modest and fall well short of the estate tax exclusion amount. However, the land upon which they run their businesses may in fact be very valuable and exceed the amount of the estate tax exclusion. For this reason it can be difficult for farmers and ranchers to keep the property … [Read more...] about Keeping The Farm In The Family
It comes as a surprise to some people that there can be a tax imposed on your assets after you pass away. The extent of the taxation can vary depending on where you happen to reside in the United States. When you examine the facts you find that here in South Carolina we are rather fortunate in this regard. To understand these taxes you have to know the difference between an estate tax and an inheritance tax. The estate tax is imposed on the entirety of the estate before it is passed on to the … [Read more...] about Inheritance Tax & Estate Tax: One And The Same?