Many different possibilities existed regarding the future of the estate tax throughout 2012. If there was no legislation passed to change existing laws in 2013 the maximum estate tax rate would have gone up to 55%, the exclusion would have been reduced to $1 million, and the estate tax would no longer be portable between a husband and wife. Because of the enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 we have a different set of circumstances. The exclusion has been set at $5.25 million … [Read more...] about Portability Still in Place in 2013
Ever since it was first adopted back in 1916 a lot of people have been in favor of repealing the estate tax. They feel this way for a number of reasons. For one, the estate tax is selectively imposed and where the line is drawn varies from one year to another. So two people who pass away with the same amount of money can pay widely differing amounts. One family can be exempt from the estate tax entirely while another who died during a different year with identical resources could be asked to pay … [Read more...] about Estate Tax: 2010 Was Memorable Year
We live during an era when people live very busy lives, and when you are always on the go and reacting to the things that take place on a day-to-day basis time can get past you rather quickly. A lot of people will tell you that they know they have to plan for the future and they have every intention of doing so. But the days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years, and years turn into decades and too many wind up putting their families in a difficult situation due to a … [Read more...] about Majority Of Americans Have No Estate Plan
One of the most important things to ascertain when you start to get serious about planning for your future is whether your estate is going to be potentially exposed to the estate tax. This sounds like something that would be rather easy to do, but the reality is that the playing field changes on a regular basis and this leads to some rather bizarre scenarios that leave many people scratching their heads. Let's take a walk down memory lane for a moment. Back in 2009 the estate tax exclusion was … [Read more...] about Estate Tax: Timing Is Everything
There has been a lot of polarization on Capitol Hill regarding the national debt, and much of it came to a head during the recent efforts to raise the debt ceiling. But in spite of the widely differing perspectives that exist, both parties did agree that spending must be reduced. Where there is disagreement is the matter of increasing revenue as part of a two-pronged approach toward reducing the federal deficit. "Increasing revenue" is another way of saying raising taxes, and of course it is … [Read more...] about Did Debt Deal Impact Estate Planning?
It can be a very comforting feeling to recognize the fact that your legacy will be sufficient to make a significant difference in the lives of your loved ones. Of course most people want to make things easier for their family members, but you also want to beware of taking away the incentive toward personal achievement. The ultimate peace of mind comes with being able to see that your family members are stable and responsible in their own right while you are still alive so that their inheritances … [Read more...] about Educational Gifts And Your Estate Plan
There are two sides to the estate tax debate, and those who feel as though this federal levy is unfair can make a very solid case. For one thing, the estate tax is an instance of double taxation. The assets that comprise your estate have been accumulated after you've paid taxes throughout your life. After paying payroll or self-employment tax and income tax you may be left with as little as 60% to 70% of your earnings. You also pay sales tax on everything you buy, property tax, capital gains … [Read more...] about Is Estate Tax Only Imposed On The Wealthy?
Many people were happy to see the changes in the estate tax parameters that were contained in the new tax relief measure that was passed at the end of 2010. The estate tax was repealed for 2010, but in 2009 the estate tax exclusion was $3.5 million and the maximum rate of the tax was 45%. As a result of the passage of this new legislation the estate tax exclusion was raised to $5 million, and the rate of the tax was shaved down to 35%. This means that only the portion of your estate that exceeds … [Read more...] about Steering Clear Of The Estate Tax
Estate planning can seem very similar to the other forms of financial planning that you've done throughout your life but there is one very profound difference: you won't be around to see the result. Though it is comforting to know that you have left a legacy behind the fact that you can't see your family members enjoying their inheritances can leave you with a somewhat empty feeling. However, there is a foundational estate planning strategy that can be implemented that allows you to actually … [Read more...] about Estate Planning In Action
2010 was a midterm election year, and it also happened to be the year when the Bush era tax cuts were set to expire. So there was a lot of political debate taking place regarding the potential extension of the Bush cuts, and these discussions included the estate tax parameters. To provide some background, throughout the 2010 calendar year the estate tax was repealed, but in 2009 the top rate of the tax was 45% and the exclusion was $3.5 million. However, in accordance with the laws as they … [Read more...] about New Tax Act Sunsets At End Of 2012