In estate planning involving spouses there may be issues surrounding how to deal with separate property acquired prior to marriage or as a result of inheritance. As part of your estate planning consultations with your attorney, you may be asked whether you wish any particular property or financial assets you currently consider to be your sole and separate property to remain your sole and … [Read more...] about Deciding Whether to Convert Separate Property to Community Property
What Is an Estate and What Planning Is Involved? It's important for you to understand what the word "estate" means so that you do not underestimate the broad scope of the term. The "estate" consists of all the property a person owns or controls. Examples of the more well-known items include personal property, real estate, bank accounts, insurance policies, business interests, certain trust … [Read more...] about Estate Planning 101: An Introduction
If you're like most people, you've probably delegated estate planning to the realm of things to be done "someday." Most people dislike confronting their own mortality, but proper estate planning accomplishes two major objectives -- it ensures that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes and it can reduce the payment of federal and state estate taxes. By formally planning your … [Read more...] about Take Time to Plan Your Estate
Are you age 50 or older? If so, you can currently make extra "catch-up" contributions to certain types of tax-favored retirement accounts. Over time, these contributions can make a significant difference in your retirement-age wealth. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of this retirement savings bonus. Here's what you need to know to reap the benefits. The Basics Eligible … [Read more...] about Retirement Account Catch-Up Contributions Can Add Up
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) includes a number of changes that will affect individual taxpayers in 2018 and beyond. Significant attention has been given to the reduced tax rates for most individuals and the new limit on deducting state and local taxes. But there is more to the story. Here's a summary of some of the lesser-known provisions in the new law. Repeal of the ACA Penalty for … [Read more...] about Tax Reform: Topics of Special Interest for Individuals
Winter can be a busy time for travel. Snowbirds try to escape the cold. Grandparents long to visit loved ones in distant cities. Jetsetters want to ring in the New Year in a memorable locale. Regardless of the season, travel brings photo opportunities that are prime for posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. But fraud-savvy people think twice before engaging in … [Read more...] about Is Social Media Activity Putting You or Your Clients at Risk?
President Trump and Republican members of Congress say the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will bring $3.2 trillion in tax cuts. Now that the bill has passed, everyone wants to know how much they'll save. Unfortunately, the tax bill won't be good news for everyone. Here's a comparison of how tax results for a typical family of four might be affected by the tax law changes, which generally are … [Read more...] about How Might the New Tax Reform Law Affect You?
As 2017 winds down, it's time to consider making some moves to lower your federal income tax bill and position yourself for tax savings in future years. This year, the big unknown factor is whether major tax reform proposals will be enacted. Even if all goes according to the GOP timeline, the changes generally won't take effect until next year at the earliest. So your 2017 return will follow the … [Read more...] about Keep Tax Reform Proposals in Mind When Making Last-Minute Year-End Moves
Important Documents Related to Final Distribution of a Trust Estate NOTICE OF PROPOSED ACTION In the course of settling a Trust estate, the Trustee may need to make a significant decision that might affect the interests or desires of the beneficiaries. The most common decision would be to sell a piece of property or borrow money secured against trust assets. It may also involve a … [Read more...] about Important Documents Related to Final Distribution of a Trust Estate
The IRS has announced the 2018 inflation adjustments for many tax provisions, including exemptions for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes and the annual exclusion amount for gifts. The 2018 estate and gift tax “exemption” will be $5,600,000, up from $5,490,000 for 2017. This is the total amount that can pass free from estate tax on death and/or from gift tax during life. The … [Read more...] about 2018 IRS Estate and Gift Tax Inflation Adjustments