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Walt’s Week in Williamsburg, Virginia: November 4th – 9th

Here are the highlights from my daily blog for last week.  If you’d like to read any blog in its entirety, just click on the link provided.  Enjoy!! 

  Sunday, November 4, 2012

BabycakeThis gifting strategy can provide estate tax benefits without giving up access to policy cash value, if needed in the future.

You’ve decided to make a gift out of your estate to your heirs, but you are on the fence with completing the process.  What if you need those funds in the coming years? This can be a justifiable apprehension, whether you have a little to give or a lot.

With the longer lifespans we now enjoy and the expensive healthcare costs we now face, one strategy is to use gifts to purchase life insurance as a gift for your heirs, and to do so with a trust arrangement known as a SLAT.

A SLAT, or “Spousal Lifetime Access Trust” enjoyed the spotlight in a recent WealthManagement.com article titled “SLATs and Life Insurance: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too.” Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Surreal-time-sarah-whitscell

There may not be a better time to engage in strategic gifting, GRAT planning or IDGT planning. The combination of expiring provisions and looming potential changes make the following strategies particularly powerful.

For many of us, 2013 may bring a potentially disastrous tax predicament, either the fiscal cliff itself or something else entirely.  When it comes to estate and gift taxes there are some actions you may want to take while it is still 2012. This matter was taken up in a recent Forbes article appropriately titled “Year-End Estate Tax Considerations — TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

Another Forbes article titled “Major Estate Tax Change Looming – Don't Be A Last Minute Louie” points out rather directly how 2012 has been a year of waiting – of waiting for Congressional action, of waiting for an election to come and go, and of waiting for a settled law to base your planning around. Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Snowbird-eco

You may own property and pay real estate taxes in both states, have bank accounts in both states, register cars in both states, buy insurance in both states but you really only live in one state and you are visiting the other state.

Scenario: you head north when temperatures start to rise to escape the heat of Summer, and then you migrate back south for the Winter months.  Your homes are in two different states, and all is well …until it comes to your estate planning. Living in several states may not only subject you to the hassles of multiple state income tax filing, but it can be even trickier when it comes to your estate planning.

This issue was explored by Boston CBS in an article titled “How To Protect Your Estate While Living In Two States.” Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Increase

Individuals can generally receive up to $13,000 a year as a gift without getting hit by a federal gift tax. In 2013, as a result of cumulative indexing, this amount is projected to increase to $14,000 per person.

Any victory, large or small, is worth celebrating. So when it was projected that the annual gift exclusion will increase from the current $13,000 to $14,000 per year per person in 2013, many people are thrilled to see this change in the tax code.

This increase has been a small victory heralded by the financial press, included in a recent CBS MoneyWatch article titled “Gift-tax limits to rise in 2013.”  Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New-years-baby

Some clients may want to give big now because the charitable gift tax write-off is among the deductions that may become a casualty of tax reform. But tax rates for the wealthy could jump next year, in which case they'd want to set aside deductions for 2013, when the deductions potentially would be worth more.

Hurry up! No, wait! Well, which is it? It all depends on your giving strategy. If you want to take advantage of current charitable giving options you better “hurry up” and get those gifts lined out.  But if you are apprehensive about a possible increase in your taxes for next year, you may decide it’s best to “wait” and set those gifts aside for 2013 deductions. The rallying cry of “hurry up and wait” regarding charitable giving was sounded by Reuters in a recent article titled “Charitable giving in unclear tax times.” Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

Friday, November 9, 2012

1046494-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Rhino-Hanging-On-A-Branch-On-A-Cliff

A looming increase in the capital-gains tax rate next year is fueling sales of some privately-held businesses.

So little time, yet so much to do!  That seems to be the theme as we near the end of 2012. Hopefully Congress will get to work and hammer out a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” (and trigger another recession).

Regardless, it certainly looks like 2013 still won’t be quite as advantageous as the current tax code. This especially is the case if you’re looking to make a major sale that will invoke capital gains taxation. Accordingly, you’d better get to work and get that sale completed before the ball drops in Times Square!

For business owners considering the sale of their businesses, this advice includes you. In fact, you will be interested in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal titled “Looming Tax Hike Motivates Owners to Sell.”  Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

 

Join me every day as I bring you estate planning topics of interest to you and those you love from Williamsburg, Virginia.

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