The Shrinking Gift Tax Exemption: Going, Going, Gone!

Now that the year 2021 is quickly becoming a distant memory, it is time to write or update your financial plan for 2022. One of the important elements of the plan is the gifts that you are going to give to family, friends and non-profits. We will discuss the basic rules of taxes on gifts and will be happy to address any complex scenarios that you may run into. These rules are likely to change for the worse, by 2025 at the latest. Continue reading for more details.

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Your Parents’ Estate Plan and How it Impacts You

Impact on Workload

There are several ways in which your parents, or indeed, any family member’s estate plan impacts you. First, you may be asked to play an active role in the processing of the estate, and that may or may not have been directly communicated to you. You could be the executor of the estate or hold your parents’ power of attorney and would need to know their intentions. Things you should be able to address are:

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4 Ways to Avoid the Estate Tax for High Net Worth Families

Many high net worth individuals have worked very hard to accumulate wealth and build something of value that they can pass on to their families once they are gone. However, their heirs may be faced with exorbitant tax bills associated with this transfer of wealth when the time comes.

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5 Tips to Avoid Probate

It may be a difficult subject to navigate, but when it comes to estate planning, there are certain steps you should take now to avoid probate. Probate—the court proceedings that transfer ownership of an estate from the decedent to their benefactors upon death—is a timely and costly process that can take a toll on grieving families. Probate can also be incredibly confusing and take months or years to sort out. And because it is a court proceeding, it becomes public record. The good news is, depending on your assets, there are several things you can do to avoid probate proceedings. Here are five ways to avoid it in California:

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How the Proposed Tax Increase Reform May Affect You

woman doing taxes

During the week of September 12th this year, news began circulating of President Biden’s proposed tax increase to offset up to $3.5 trillion that they plan to spend on the social safety net and climate policy. While it is still in the initial proposal stages, if passed, this tax increase would affect top corporations and wealthy individuals—and thus would also potentially create big changes with things such as estate and gift tax exemptions. This proposed bill would go into effect in 2022. If it sounds familiar that’s because it shares many elements of the 99.5 Percent Act proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse earlier this summer—which proposed many reduced monetary thresholds involving estate and gift federal tax liabilities.  Let’s take a deeper look into the details of this new tax increase proposal and what they might mean for you.

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All About a Business Succession Plan

man standing with sky chalk board

As a business owner, you know that change is inevitable. From team members and company growth to overhead costs, consumer demands, and all things between, your organization is a dynamic entity – flexibly moving and adjusting as the market shifts over time. You have built a resilient company trusted by employees, investors, and customers. But what happens if you, the leader and visionary, decide it is time to move on? In a perfect world, business succession is a smooth transition where most customers and stakeholders are none the wiser about a significant difference at the top level. However, sometimes the leadership change needs to be sudden, maybe for personal reasons like illness or even death, and how do you ensure operations continue and your assets, family, and stakeholders are well-protected? A business succession plan needs to be in place, ready to be executed when needed. Without one, your security, integrity, company, employees, and investors are all at risk. So, what exactly IS a business succession plan, and what does it entail?

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Estate Planning: Your Guide to See-Through Trusts

notebook with trust and estate planning

You are working hard – building wealth, utilizing retirement accounts, and maybe already talking with financial advisors. You have a clear path to the goals you set for yourself long ago – even if they may have changed a bit as life ebbs and flows. So, what happens next? We hear a lot about planning for retirement, but estate planning is equally important. The latter requires foresight, but it also ensures that your loved ones are taken care of and that your hard work now can still benefit them later. To efficiently protect your well-cultivated retirement assets from creditors, and distribute them to your chosen beneficiaries, a See-Through Trust should be explored and created. See-Through Trusts are a key estate-planning tool, but there are a few things you should know before moving forward.

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Understanding How the 99.5% Act Affects You

dollar bill zoomed in

On March 25, 2021, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse introduced the “For the 99.5 Percent Act” (referred to in this blog as the “99.5% Act”), a piece of legislation that would change federal estate and gift taxes. Here are the highlights you need to know:

  • Reduces the federal estate tax exemption from $11.7 million to $3.5 million
  • Reduces the gift tax exemption from $11.7 million to $1 million
  • Tax rates increase for gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax (GST) at a progressive rate

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Post-Election Tax Strategies

man crunching numbers

Now that tax season is wrapping up, we can all take a deep breath. With the pandemic looming over all of us in 2020, change has become the only thing we can consistently count on these days.

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The Importance of a Business Succession Plan

planting seeds

It’s often difficult for us to think of the future as individuals, and even harder to think about it in terms of our larger counterparts, such as the businesses that we own and run. This is particularly true if it involves planning for the worst possible outcomes in our future, such as unexpected retirement, potential disability, or untimely death. When you build your own business and watch it flourish from the ground up, it can be disheartening to think of the possibilities of its disbandment or transfer to a new owner.

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