Estate Planning Strategies to Protect Your Spouse

You have searched for and found the love of your life, maybe your first love, or maybe after a previous marriage. As you have built your life together, you have probably weathered your fair share of storms and grown stronger because of them. To prepare for the future and the possibility of no longer being around for your spouse, it is important that you plan…

Wealth Transfer Strategies to Consider in an Election Year

With a push by the Democratic party to return federal estate taxes to their historic norms, taxpayers need to act now before Congress passes legislation that could adversely impact their estates. Currently, the federal estate and gift tax exemption is set at $11.58 million per taxpayer. Assets included in a decedent’s estate that exceed the decedent’s remaining exemption available at death are taxed at a…

Christmas in July: Gifting During Uncertain Times

Changes in the federal transfer tax laws over the last few decades, as well as the economic volatility brought on by a global pandemic, have called into question the wisdom of making large lifetime gifts for estate planning and tax purposes. In today’s economic and tax environments, many professionals remain uncertain about whether advising clients to make lifetime gifts still makes sense. Given the large…

No Clawbacks Allowed: What Does This Mean for You and How to Take Advantage of This Gift

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the gift and estate tax exclusion amount—i.e., the amount that can either be excluded from your estate when determining if your estate will owe any taxes when you pass away or the amount you can gift to individuals during your lifetime without owing any taxes—which had previously been $5 million (adjusted each year for inflation) per individual.…

Why would anyone want to refuse an inheritance?

Although it is surprising to many, there are several circumstances when declining an inheritance can be beneficial. The law does permit you to refuse an inheritance if you comply with certain strict requirements. The legal term for a refusal of an inheritance is a “disclaimer,” which is defined as an irrevocable and unqualified refusal to accept an interest in property. We call a “disclaimer” a…

Tax Strategies to Move Your Clients Forward

The 2019 estate tax exemption is $11.4 million per person, up from $11.2 million per person in 2018. According to the Tax Policy Center, only 4,000 federal estate tax returns were filed this year, with only 1,900 of those returns owing tax. Some industry experts estimate that less than one percent of all estates are taxable federally.  Put another way, over 99 percent of all…

Breaking News: State Bills Introduced in Massachusetts to Change the Estate Tax

In an effort to provide you with the latest estate planning news – Two bills were introduced to the Massachusetts State Senate which, if enacted, will change the Massachusetts Estate Tax laws. The first bill, S.1631, entitled “An Act to Mitigate Snowbird Relocation”, would increase the state estate tax exemption from the current $1 million to $2 million. Additionally, the tax rates are to be…

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