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Anyone can make unlimited tax-free gifts. The strategy gets wealth out of your estate, and unlike many other gifts, you can be sure of how the money will be used. The strategy of maximizing tax-free gifts is growing in popularity, especially since the change in Congress makes it unlikely that elimination of the estate tax […]
Estate planning need not be as complicated as many people make it. Sophisticated tools are needed by the very wealthy, business owners, those with children from more than one marriage, and others with special needs. For most of us, a good estate plan is fairly straightforward. We need only the basics. Most estate plans can […]
Managing the equity in appreciated homes and second homes has become a pleasant and unexpected challenge for many. Especially on the coasts, residential real estate values soared the last five years. Suddenly owners, especially long-time owners, have properties that are more valuable than they imagined. For many families, real estate wealth exceeds the value of […]
Soon after I updated the tax status of family limited partnerships for our July visit, the Tax Court ruled in another FLP case. The decision went against the taxpayers and again dimmed the enthusiasm of many tax advisors for FLPs. I’m not as pessimistic about the decision, but it does add some uncertainty and should […]
Last year a number of estate planners worried that the IRS and the Tax Court nailed shut the door on family limited partnerships. A recent federal appeals court decision recently made clear the door still is open, and it set some guidelines for the successful use of FLPs. Family limited partnerships have been premier estate […]
Don’t wait until the end of the year to plan gifts to family members. Annual gifts are an important part of many estate plans, but most people don’t handle gifts the best way. Planning gifts now will increase the amount of wealth that is transferred tax-free to your heirs. The goals of gift-giving are to […]
Estate planners agree that one of the most underused strategies is the charitable remainder trust. That might change. New trends are making CRTs more attractive. Taxpayers with appreciated property should take a fresh look at CRTs as part of their retirement and estate planning strategies. In a CRT, an individual transfers appreciated property to the […]
Most taxpayers don’t realize the best way to contribute to charity. They also don’t know that to get the maximum benefit they need to begin planning early in the year. Waiting until near year-end won’t get the job done. The optimal giving strategy is to donate noncash items. Many people are aware that they can […]