Don’t Forget About Making A Portability Election

Portability allows a surviving spouse to apply a deceased spouse’s unused federal gift and estate tax exemption amount toward his or her own transfers during life or at death. For 2020, the exemption amount is $11.58 million, and the IRS just announced that that amount will increase to $11.7 million for 2021. To secure these […]

Divorcing Couples Should Understand These 4 Tax Issues

When a couple is going through a divorce, taxes are probably not foremost in their minds. But without proper planning and advice, some people find divorce to be an even more taxing experience. Several tax concerns need to be addressed to ensure that taxes are kept to a minimum and that important tax-related decisions are […]

4 Ways To Address Elderly Parents In Your Estate Plan

Typically, an estate plan includes accommodations for your spouse, children, grandchildren and even future generations. But you may overlook some older family members, such as your parents or in-laws. They may also need your financial assistance and help with their estate planning. How can you best handle the financial affairs of parents in the later […]

Buying And Selling Mutual Fund Shares: Avoid These Tax Pitfalls

If you invest in mutual funds, be aware of some potential pitfalls involved in buying and selling shares. Surprise sales  You may already have made taxable “sales” of part of your mutual fund investment without knowing it. One way this can happen is if your mutual fund allows you to write checks against your fund […]

Is A Noncharitable Purpose Trust Right For You?

There are two trust types that don’t require one or more human beneficiaries: charitable trusts and noncharitable purpose (NCP) trusts. A charitable trust is the more common of the two, but an NCP trust could also be a formidable tool to help achieve your estate planning goals. Defining an NCP trust Historically, trusts were required […]

There May Be Relief From Tax Liability For “Innocent Spouses”

If you file a joint tax return with your spouse, you should be aware of your individual liability. And if you’re getting divorced, you should know that there may be relief available if the IRS comes after you for certain past-due taxes. What’s “joint and several” liability? When a married couple files a joint tax […]

The Red Flags Are Many When Borrowing From Your Retirement Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people borrowing from their companies’ qualified retirement plans, and the CARES Act provides some temporary rule changes to this loan type. However, given the risks and costs of borrowing from a retirement plan, it should generally be viewed as a last resort. From an estate planning angle, subtracting […]

Why It’s Important To Plan For Income Taxes As Part Of Your Estate Plan

As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($11.58 million in 2020), many estates no longer need to be concerned with federal estate tax. Before 2011, a much smaller amount resulted in estate plans attempting to avoid it. Now, because many estates won’t be subject to estate tax, more planning can be devoted […]

Don’t Procrastinate If You Plan To Transfer Ownership Of Your Life Insurance Policy

Generally, the proceeds of your life insurance policy are included in your taxable estate. You can remove them by transferring ownership of the policy, but there’s a catch: If you wait too long, your intentions may be defeated. Essentially, if ownership of the policy is transferred within three years of your death, the proceeds revert […]