Estate and gift exemption increases to $11.4 million in 2019

The IRS announced in Revenue Procedure 2018-57 that the 2019 gift tax annual exclusion will remain at $15,000 and the estate and gift exemption amount will rise to $11,400,000 per person, or $22,800,000 per couple, in 2019. In 2019, you can gift up to $15,000 to another person using the annual gift exclusion and without …

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Annual gift tax exclusion amount released

The IRS has released the annual gift tax exclusion. For 2018 and 2019, the amount is increasing to $15,000. What does this mean for gifts you make? Each year, you can gift up to $15,000 per person before the gift is considered taxable and without being required to file a gift tax return (Form 709). …

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Amazing inheritance stories – how some came into crazy fortunes

Who hasn’t purchased a lottery ticket and then spent the next few days, or the remaining hours before the big draw, dreaming about how you will spend the millions of dollars you are going to win. All the extravagant vacations, homes, cars, opportunities to share with family and friends, dance before your eyes! But are …

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MI law controls who receives Aretha Franklin’s $80 million estate

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, passed away on August 16, 2018. Her four sons filed court documents with the Oakland County Probate Court in Michigan. In those documents, they acknowledged that their mother did not have a will. It seems to be a trend with famous singer/songwriters to put off their estate planning until …

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A state estate tax – the other death tax you need to know about

Congress did everyone a favor last year and raised the estate tax exemption to the lofty heights of $11,180,000 per person. As a result, very, very few people will owe an estate tax on death under the current law. So, while a couple can die with as much as $22,360,000 and not owe any federal …

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Social Security: What to do when a family member dies

If you are a spouse, child or parent of someone who has died, you may qualify for Social Security benefits. To get spousal benefits, the deceased family member must have worked long enough under Social Security to qualify. A worker can earn up to four credits each year. In 2018, when a worker earns $5,280, …

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Designating a beneficiary – it can be a mine field

You met with your attorney recently to prepare your will, trust document and durable powers of attorney so you are confident your estate plan is in order. But life insurance, employer-provided retirement plans, individual retirement accounts and annuities are designed to pass at death not by your traditional estate-planning documents, but by a beneficiary designation. …

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Section 454: reporting U.S. savings bonds owned at death

Many individuals own U.S. Series EE or I savings bonds. These bonds are purchased at a discount from their face value and interest accrues on the bonds until they mature at their face value. While the individual is alive, he or she can make an election under Internal Revenue Code Section 454 to recognize interest …

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Reverse mortgages: the pros and cons

TV commercials and ads pushing reverse mortgages seem to be everywhere these days. How can you possibly question anything endorsed by Tom Selleck? So what is a reverse mortgage? Can you benefit from a reverse mortgage? Can a reverse mortgage be a good planning option for seniors? A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner to withdraw …

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