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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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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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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Gift tax exclusion, estate and gift exemption rise in 2018

The IRS announced in Revenue Procedure 2017-58 that the gift tax exclusion will rise to $15,000 in 2018. The 2017 exclusion of $14,000 has been in place since 2013. Using the annual gift tax exclusion, in 2018 any person can gift up to $15,000 to another person without using any of his/her lifetime estate and …

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Can you defer the payment of estate tax?

According to Internal Revenue Code Section 6166, a personal representative (PR) may defer payment of federal estate tax if the decedent’s equity interest in a closely held business exceeds 35 percent of his adjusted gross estate. In order to be eligible for a Section 6166 election, the closely held business must qualify as an active …

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Lifetime gifts v bequests after death

The White House’s proposed tax reform plan includes repealing the estate tax. However, the “plan” is a one page outline with a bullet point simply stating “Repeal the death tax.” There are no details as to when this will occur. Moreover, the repeal could be short lived. As we saw back in 2010, the estate …

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What executors need to know for Form 8971

An executor who is required to file a federal estate tax return (Form 706) is also required to file the new Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property from a Decedent, with the IRS to report the final value of that property, the recipient of that property, and other information prescribed by the form and …

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Will this Estate Planning Loophole be Closed?

On August 2, 2016 the U.S government proposed making it harder for wealthy business owners to transfer assets to heirs without paying estate and gift taxes. The Treasury Department’s plan would place new limits on a common tactic used to transfer interests in illiquid businesses. “By taking advantage of these tactics, certain taxpayers or their …

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Happy (for Some) 100th Anniversary to the Estate Tax

Back in 1916, Congress wanted to boost U.S. revenues in case America joined in on World War I in Europe. Lawmakers voted for a new tax on a person’s assets at death, which we now call the Estate Tax aka “Death Tax”. This tax affected fewer than 1% of Americans and today only affects 2 …

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What Prince’s Death Teaches Us about Estate Tax

Prince Rogers Nelson, American singer, songwriter, and actor, passed away on April 21, 2016. Cities, social media, and fans showed their support and solidarity in a sea of purple. Prince resided in Minnesota at the time of his death. As of the date of this posting, no Will has been presented to the Carver County …

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