High net worth individuals should be aware of potential estate tax exposure. The tax carries a 40 percent maximum rate that can consume a great deal of what you have been able to earn throughout your life. There is an unlimited marital deduction that allows you to leave unlimited assets to your spouse tax-free. Asset transfers to people other than your spouse are potentially subject to the estate tax. In 2014, the first $5.34 million that is passed along can be transferred free of the death … [Read more...] about What Is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust?
Taxation is something that you constantly face throughout your life, but it can also come into play after you pass away. Many people question the fairness of the estate tax, because it is imposed on assets that you have left after paying many taxes along the way, but it is a fact of life whether it is fair or not. Fortunately, most people don't have to pay the estate tax, because there is an estate tax exclusion. You can pass along a certain amount before the tax would kick in, and this … [Read more...] about 2015 Estate Tax Exclusion Adjustment Released By IRS
The fact that there are a lot of rather wordy terms used in the legal field is no secret, and this is where the term "legalese" comes from. Sometimes legal devices are reduced to acronyms so that they are easier to refer to, and this certainly enters the estate planning realm. With this in mind, we will look at the ILIT in this post. Estate Tax Efficiency In an estate planning context, the acronym ILIT stands for an irrevocable life insurance trust. This type of trust can be used to … [Read more...] about What Is an ILIT?
In this post we will look at the role of the living trust trustee and the qualities that you should look for when you are choosing a trustee. However, before we get into that subject, we should explain why you may want to consider the creation of a revocable living trust. Efficient Asset Transfers A revocable living trust would be used by someone who would otherwise be using a last will as a vehicle of asset transfer. Why would you want to use a living trust as an alternative? The answer is … [Read more...] about How Do I Choose a Living Trust Trustee?
When people start to get serious about estate planning, a lot of questions about taxation are naturally going to arise. There are innumerable taxes that come to mind, and one of them is the capital gains tax. If you are in possession of assets that have appreciated, the capital gains tax can be applicable if you realize a gain. You realize a gain if you sell the asset and take personal possession of the appreciation. At that point you are no longer allowing the market to dictate the value of … [Read more...] about What Is the Capital Gains Tax?
There are legal terms that have very wordy names, and as a response, a lot of acronyms are used to make the terms more manageable to talk about. We dissect these terms from time to time on our blog, and today we will look at the legal device that is commonly called a QTIP trust. In this context, the acronym stands for a qualified terminable interest property trust. Now that you see the actual name of the trust, you can see why people shorten it by using the term QTIP. This type of trust … [Read more...] about What Is a QTIP Trust?
Estate planning is a must for all responsible adults, but when you evaluate survey results, you find that most people are not prepared for something that is definitely going to happen. Unfortunately, some people pass away without a will or a trust, so their wishes are not known. If you were to pass away without a will or a trust, the condition of intestacy would be the result. The way the property would be distributed would depend on a number of factors. Property that was in your direct and … [Read more...] about What Happens to My Property If I Die Without a Will or Trust?
People often like to prioritize, especially when they are putting certain things on the back burner. This can enter the realm of estate planning. There are those who want to execute only the most important estate planning document, and they reason that they will look into the details later on. In reality, there is no one document that is inherently more important than any other. Plus, an estate planning document that could be very important for one person may be totally unnecessary for the … [Read more...] about What Is the Most Important Estate Planning Document?
When you hear about the federal estate tax, you may wonder if it is possible to give gifts to your children while you are living to avoid the death tax. This is not a true solution, because there is a federal gift tax in place, and it is applicable on large gifts to your children. However, there are exclusions, so you can give a certain amount to your children before the gift tax would be a factor. Annual Gift Tax Exclusion There is an annual gift tax exclusion. At the present time, the … [Read more...] about Estate Planning FAQs: Can I Give Tax-Free Gifts to My Children?
There can be some confusion about the taxes that can come into play when assets are being transferred after someone's death. You may have heard of the existence of an estate tax, and you may assume that an inheritance tax and an estate tax are the same thing. In reality, this is not the case. These are two different forms of taxation. Estate Tax An estate tax would be applied on the entire taxable portion of the estate in question. We have a federal estate tax that is applicable in all 50 … [Read more...] about Will My Heirs Be Forced to Pay Inheritance Taxes?