Social media giant Google recently announced a new account tool that can help you include your e-mail and other electronic accounts in your existing estate plan. While the new tool is certainly helpful, only a consultation with your estate planning attorney will ensure that all of your digital assets are properly accounted for in your estate plan. The new “Inactive Account Manager” tool lets account users decide what will happen to their accounts when the account has been inactive for three, … [Read more...] about Google Announces “Inactive Account Manager”
Estate planning requires you to make numerous important decisions, each of which can significantly impact your plan. One decision that people frequently underestimate the importance of is whom you choose to use as an appraiser. An appraiser may be needed prior to your death to provide an appraisal for a gift you intend to give. In addition, appraisers are also frequently required to appraise estate assets after your death for the purpose of calculating your estate’s value. While you will … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Tips – Choosing Your Appraiser
As most taxpayers with even moderate estates already know, the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 made permanent the current lifetime exemption limit of $5 million (adjusted each year for inflation) to the gift and estate tax. This means that a taxpayer can make gifts over a lifetime up to that amount without incurring gift taxes. While this is certainly welcome news, there is even more you can do to limit your gift and estate tax exposure. Using the annual gift tax exclusion … [Read more...] about How to Take Advantage of the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion
When you create your estate plan, your primary objective will likely be to plan for the distribution of your estate assets to loved ones upon your death. Along with that primary objective, however, you will likely also include related goals and objectives. For example, you will probably need to consider the impact taxes will have on your estate when you die to ensure that your estate has sufficient assets available to pay any tax liabilities due to the state and/or federal government. In … [Read more...] about Do I Need to Worry about Inheritance Tax in Missouri?
Most of us work hard all of our lives not only to provide a decent standard of living for ourselves, but in the hope that we will have something left to leave behind for our loved ones when we die. A well thought out estate plan is a way to determine who will receive the fruits of your labor when you are gone. Estate taxes, however, can destroy your estate plans if you make the mistake of not considering the impact of those taxes on your estate ahead of time. In fact, your estate could lose … [Read more...] about Can Estate Taxes Destroy Your Estate Plans?
If you have a special needs child or adult in your family you undoubtedly worry about being able to provide for them after you are no longer here. Special care must be taken when including a special needs loved one in your estate plan because a beneficiary can actually lose much needed assistance if they receive a direct gift from a well-meaning family member. Often, the answer is to create a supplemental needs trust. Fortunately, many special needs children can grow up to live relatively … [Read more...] about What Is a Supplemental Needs Trust?
Receiving a gift from an estate is one of those double-edged sword moments. On the one hand, the gift may be desperately needed or may have great sentimental value. On the other hand, if the gift came from an estate it means that the gift’s owner died. Along with the emotional turmoil that often comes with being named as a beneficiary of an estate there are likely some legal and practical issues you need to sort out. One question we often hear is “Do I pay taxes when someone leaves me money?” … [Read more...] about Do I Pay Taxes When Someone Leaves Me Money?
If you are fortunate enough to have a moderate to large estate to pass on to future generations you should be aware of the gift and estate tax repercussions of any gifts you make either during your lifetime or at the time of your death. Waiting to gift your entire estate at the time of your death could subject your estate to a hefty estate tax bill at the high rate of 40 percent. In St. Louis, one tax friendly estate planning tool that is often overlooked is the annual gift tax exclusion. … [Read more...] about The Annual Gift Tax Exclusion in St. Louis – Gifting to Your Children
Estate planning often aims to achieve much more than simply designing a road map for the division of estate assets after death. Most estate plans, for example, also include tax avoidance strategies and tools. In fact, in years past creative estate planning was commonly used to pass down family wealth without incurring a substantial tax liability in the process. Uncle Sam finally started to catch on though and eventually implemented the Generation Skipping Tax, or GST, to make sure all transfers … [Read more...] about What Is a Generation Skipping Tax?
If you are fortunate enough to have a moderate to large estate that you will leave behind when you die you likely want to pass that estate on to your spouse if you are married. Like most people, you are probably also concerned about the tax consequences of gifting your estate assets to someone when you die. By utilizing the unlimited marital deduction you can leave your entire estate assets to your spouse tax-free; however, the long-term tax consequences of taking this approach are often … [Read more...] about Estate Taxes in St. Louis: How Can I Leave My Estate to My Spouse Tax-Free?