What happens if I die without a will?

In Season 6, Episode 5 of Parks and Recreation, Ben Wyatt tells Ron Swanson “If you die and you don’t have a real will, most of what you own will go to the government”. While in certain cases there is a sliver of truth to that statement, in Ron’s situation it would not apply. Now …

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Court ruling holds decedent’s estate liable for FBAR penalties

Dean Danielson was a U.S. citizen who formed a corporation called Sugar Creek in the 90’s. The company was in the business of selling Swiss annuities, and he opened two foreign bank accounts (one in Canada and one in Lichtenstein) in the company’s name. In the years 2006 through 2009, the amounts in those bank …

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Transfer tax and foreign items adjust for inflation in 2021

Transfer tax and foreign tax figures are among those that are adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases. Thomson Reuters Checkpoint has calculated these figures for the year 2021 using the chained Consumer Price Index from August 2020. Don’t miss: Reasonable compensation for S-Corporation shareholder employees The annual gift tax exclusion will remain at $15,000 and the …

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Dealing with a deceased relative’s debt

If a loved one dies, are you responsible for his or her unpaid debts? The FTC Consumer information website includes helpful information about dealing with the debts of a deceased relative. While FTC’s information is great – here’s my best advice: Check with an Attorney! An attorney can help you navigate the process and deal …

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Proceed with caution when helping children buy a home

According to The Project on Student Debt, the average student debt at graduation in 2018 ranged from $19,750 in Utah to $38,650 in Connecticut, and new graduates’ likelihood of having debt ranged from 36% in Utah to 76% in New Hampshire. While the job market is bright, this much debt makes it very difficult for …

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IRS update: Itemizing deductions on estates and trusts

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed, it prohibited individual taxpayers from claiming miscellaneous itemized deductions for any taxable year beginning after 12/31/2017 and before 01/01/2026. After two years, the IRS has finally issued proposed regulations to clarify how the rules on miscellaneous deductions apply to trusts and estates. Don’t miss: What …

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The history of federal estate tax rates

Even though estate taxes don’t affect many people, they have been a hot topic in the political realm after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the lifetime exemption. Here’s more on the history of estate tax rates. Don’t miss: Inherited IRAs The estate tax exemption has seen some extremely significant changes since it was …

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CARES cares about charitable donations

There are some provisions in the CARES Act that are not getting a lot of play right now – probably because it is not immediate money in business or individual’s hands. Through charitable donations, CARES Act money can be money for nonprofit organizations, though. Don’t miss: CARES Act clarification for trustee/plan sponsors So while we …

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Estate and Gift exemptions increase to $11.58 million in 2020

The IRS announced in Revenue Procedure 2019-44 that the 2020 gift tax annual exclusion will remain at $15,000 and the unified estate tax and lifetime gift exclusion amount will rise to $11,580,000 per person or $23,160,000 per couple in 2020. Read more about the estate and gift exemptions increase below! In 2020 any person can …

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