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Category: Estate Planning

July 18, 2018

Will You Have to Pay Tax on Social Security Benefits?

Some people are under the misconception that Social Security benefits are always free from federal income tax. However, depending on how much income you have from other sources, you may have to report up to 85% of your benefits as income on Form 1040 and pay the resulting federal income tax. If this happens, you’re effectively getting taxed twice on the same dollars: First, you’re taxed during your working years when you have to pay federal income taxes on Social… Read more ›

March 1, 2018

Significant Changes to the Estate and Gift Tax Exemption – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

CBM has developed this post to inform clients and friends of the firm about changes to the estate and gift tax exemption made by the massive Tax Cuts and Jobs Act effective beginning in 2018. It will result in significantly fewer estates being subject to the 40% tax, and larger estates owing less tax. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the first $5 million (as adjusted for inflation in years after 2011) of transferred property was exempt from estate… Read more ›

January 17, 2018

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Expands Appeal of 529 Plans in Estate Planning

It’s common for grandparents to want to help ensure their grandchildren will get a high quality education. And, along the same lines, they also want the peace of mind that their wealth will be preserved for their children and grandchildren after they’re gone. If you’re facing these challenges, one option that can help you conquer both is a 529 plan. And it’s become even more attractive under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). 529 plan in action In a… Read more ›

November 29, 2017

Who Should Own Your Life Insurance Policy?

If you own life insurance policies at your death, the proceeds will be included in your taxable estate. Ownership is usually determined by several factors, including who has the right to name the beneficiaries of the proceeds. The way around this problem is to not own the policies when you die. However, don’t automatically rule out your ownership either. And it’s important to keep in mind the current uncertain future of the estate tax. If the estate tax is repealed… Read more ›

November 2, 2017

U.S. Treasury Department Recommends Significant Action on 8 Recent Tax Regulations

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS recently issued their much anticipated report on several tax regulations that had earlier been identified for review in Executive Order 13789. The report recommends the complete withdrawal, substantial revocation or revision of all of the regulations, including one that had been especially dreaded by the owners of some family-held businesses and their heirs. Genesis of the recommendations Executive Order 13789 directed the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, to identify significant tax… Read more ›

October 10, 2017

Questions Remain On What Republican Tax Reform Framework Will Mean for Individual Taxpayers

In the days following the release of the proposed Republican “framework” for implementing tax reform, issues have been raised about its contents. For example, some analysts and organizations have argued that large tax cuts would significantly increase the deficit if the economic growth projected by Republicans fails to materialize. President Trump has said his plan, released in a nine-page document titled “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” is aimed at cutting taxes and creating jobs. It also strives… Read more ›

September 7, 2017

Asset Valuations and Your Estate Plan Go Hand in Hand

If your estate plan calls for making noncash gifts in trust or outright to beneficiaries, you need to know the value of those gifts and disclose them to the IRS on a gift tax return. For substantial gifts of noncash assets other than marketable securities, it’s a good idea to have a qualified appraiser value the gifts at the time of the transfer. Adequately disclosing a gift A three-year statute of limitations applies during which the IRS can challenge the… Read more ›

August 9, 2017

Are You Familiar With Fraudulent Transfer Laws?

A primary goal of your estate plan is to transfer wealth to your family according to your wishes and at the lowest possible tax cost. However, if you have creditors, be aware of fraudulent transfer laws. In a nutshell, if your creditors challenge your gifts, trusts or other strategies as fraudulent transfers, they can quickly undo your estate plan. 2 fraud types Most states have adopted the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA). The act allows creditors to challenge transfers involving… Read more ›

June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Guarantees Right to Nationwide Same-Sex Marriage

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide. This landmark case will have significant tax, estate planning, immigration, employee benefits, and other financial and legal implications for individuals and businesses that reside in states that didn’t recognize same-sex marriages. (Obergefell, et al v. Hodges, No. 14-556) Although Obergefell isn’t a tax case, it will affect the taxes of many same-sex married couples who have been subject to conflicting treatment of their marital… Read more ›