The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provides greater flexibility in estate planning for many taxpayers. Under the TCJA, the federal gift and estate tax exemption is increased from $5 million to $10 million, subject to inflation indexing. The indexed amount for 2018 is $11.18 million.
The exemption is effectively doubled to $22.36 million for a married couple. Thanks to the portability provision, the estate of a surviving spouse can use the unused portion of the exemption from the estate of the first spouse to die. (more…)
You probably don’t have to be told about the need for a will. It’s been said over and over again. But do you know what provisions should be included and what’s best to leave out? The answers to those questions may not be as obvious.
Typically, a will begins with an introductory clause, identifying yourself along with where you reside (city, state, county, etc.). It should also state that this is your official will and replaces any previous wills. (more…)
Even though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the gift and estate tax exemption to $10 million beginning this year (when indexed annually for inflation, the amount is $11.18 million for 2018), there are many families that still have to contend with significant federal estate tax liability. Plus, there may be taxes levied on your estate by your state. If that’s the case with your estate, it’s important to consider a tax apportionment clause in your will or revocable trust. (more…)
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) represents the biggest overhaul of the tax code in more than three decades. Tax experts are still sorting out all the intricacies. But this much is clear: The TCJA will have a significant impact on estate planning and related aspects, such as charitable giving.
Even though the TCJA reduces tax incentives for making charitable donations for some people, it encourages contributions for others. Let’s take a closer look at the new tax landscape and how it relates to charitable giving. (more…)
The IRS recently released a draft of the new Form 1040, which has had a dramatic makeover. The new form is a large postcard-size document (half the normal page size), which may be a nod to President Trump’s campaign promise to simplify the tax code to the point that an average American could fill out their form on a postcard. Forms 1040EZ and 1040A have been eliminated, so all taxpayers will be using this new Form 1040 beginning with the 2018 tax year. (more…)
Do you own a business with one or more individuals? Undoubtedly, your interest in the business represents a substantial part of your net worth and is likely your “pride and joy.” So it’s normal if your fondest wish is for the business to continue long after you’re gone or for you to keep it running if a co-owner or partner dies first. (more…)
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) completely rewrites sections of the tax code for individuals and businesses. Under the TCJA, the federal gift and estate tax exemption doubles from $5 million to $10 million, indexed for inflation to $11.18 million in 2018.
Somewhat lost in the clamor is the fact that the new law preserves the “portability” provision for married couples. Portability allows your estate to elect to permit your surviving spouse to use any of your available estate tax exemption that is unused at your death. (more…)
Even though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) doesn’t include many revisions to estate tax laws, it does provide one major enhancement. Under the TCJA, the unified gift and estate tax exemption of $5 million, which is indexed for inflation, is doubled to $10 million. The indexed figure for 2018 is $11.18 million ($22.36 million for married couples). This means that only the wealthiest families run a risk of federal estate tax liability (although state taxes may offer additional challenges). Given the substantially increased exemption amount, consider re-examining your lifetime gift-giving strategies. (more…)