The Importance of Having a Durable Power of Attorney

Planning Strategies This is the first full installment in our 2022 Estate Planning Series, covering the basics of five essential estate planning documents. A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose someone to act on your behalf as to certain legal and financial matters in the event you are…

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Basic Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Have

Planning Strategies When working with a trusts and estates lawyer to create a new estate plan, a client should end up with the following documents: Durable Power of Attorney Health Care Proxy (also known as a Health Care Power of Attorney) Living Will Will Revocable Trust (in some cases) In this introductory article, we will…

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2021 Tax Update

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE UPCOMING TAX BILL? On September 13, 2021, the House Ways and Means Committee released a list of revenue-raising items to be included in the upcoming fiscal year 2022 budget reconciliation bill.[1] These measures are designed to pay for various federal spending programs in the bill, known as the “Build…

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Update on Possible Tax Changes in 2021

Planning Strategies The following is a summary of recently released tax proposals by President Joe Biden as well as other Democratic leaders. It is important to remind ourselves that these are proposals and that their chance of passage is uncertain. Nonetheless, we do anticipate that the United States is entering an era of higher taxes.…

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Tax Changes Under the Biden Administration

Planning Strategies President Biden campaigned on increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, we expect to see some tax increases. What will they be? When will they take effect? This article addresses both of these questions. In the first half…

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Tax Update: California Modifies Property Tax Rules for Parent-to-Child Transfers

Planning Strategies Proposition 13 is a California state constitutional amendment that passed by referendum in 1978.  Under this rule, California property taxes are based on the purchase price of a property and are subject to small annual increases over time despite a greater rise in the property’s actual value.  However, when a property is sold…

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Post-Election Tax Planning Update

Planning Strategies Joe Biden campaigned on raising taxes on dividends and capital gains for persons earning over $1 million a year.  He’s also pushed for eliminating stepped-up basis at death and estate tax increases.  However, it remains to be seen what tax changes will actually be enacted in 2021 or when they will take effect. …

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2020 Year-End Tax Planning

Planning Strategies As always, thought and care are essential ingredients to a well-planned estate.  Below we discuss the estate planning opportunities and strategies that are before us this year (2020).  Because several of these may be curtailed next year with a new administration, this year (and especially this year-end period of 2020) presents us with…

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2020: The Year of the SLAT

Why the Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts may be the perfect solution for couples seeking to do estate planning in 2020 The federal estate and gift tax exemption is currently $11.58 million per person, the highest it has ever been.  However, the exemption amount will automatically revert to $5 million in 2026.  The COVID-19 pandemic and…

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The Great Thing about GRATs

Planning Strategies Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (or “GRATs”) allow for the tax-efficient transfer of the future appreciation of assets.  As long as the assets appreciate over the IRS’s hurdle rate, and the grantor survives the term of the trust, heirs can take the remaining assets (representing the future appreciation) free of any gift tax.  This…

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