Aug 022012
 
Recent Estate Dispute Highlights The Importance Of Getting Planning Reviewed Frequently

A recent high dollar estate battle in California provides a lesson for all, especially anyone with enough assets to incur estate tax, which, absent corrective legislation, means anyone with more than $1 million (or $2 million per couple) as of January 1, 2013.  That lesson is that it pays to have your estate planning reviewed periodically, the more often the better. Magnolia Audio Video founder Leonard Tweten and his wife, Eileen, had amassed a $100 million fortune over their 58 years of marriage.  In an effort to avoid estate taxes, they set up a trust which contained a “formula clause.”  More…

Jul 242012
 
Senate Democrats Drop Estate Tax Provision From Proposal, Future Of Estate Tax Uncertain

In what has been speculated as an attempt to garner party unity on a vote for a tax plan supported by U.S. President Barack Obama, Democrats in the U.S. Senate have abandoned proposed provisions for the estate tax which originally called for a partially extended estate tax cut of 45 percent on inheritances of more than $3.5 million (the same parameters as those in effect in 2009).  By axing the proposed estate tax cut, the Democratic plan would ultimately restore the estate tax to the pre-Bush-tax-cuts-era of a 55 percent tax on inheritances of more than $1,000,000.  The tax bill More…

Jan 272012
 
2012: The Year Estate Tax Planning Reemerges

It is no secret that the tax deal that President Obama and Congress reached in the final days of 2010 discouraged many from seeking estate planning advice in 2011.  The legislation that set a $5 million estate and gift tax exemption for 2011 and 2012 has all but eliminated estate tax avoidance as a motivating factor for clients.  This is true even though estate planners have been stressing the fact that these changes present generous planning opportunities. Currently, the estate tax rate is 35% and applies only to estates worth more than $5 million, or $10 million for couples.  Since More…