Why Your Married Clients Should Probably File Federal Estate Tax Returns

Since none of us are getting out of this alive, you should absolutely make sure that when your spouse passes, that your lawyer files an estate tax return and elects portability. Now, at this point, an advisor might ask, “Who cares about passing on the exemption if the client won’t have to pay the estate tax anyway?” Well, what happens if that surviving spouse comes into a great deal of money? Maybe her advisor (aka you) did a great job … Continued

Who is behind the push to repeal the estate tax?

Whether or not you agree that equality is a core American Value, the following is interesting. Instead, it’s the nation’s richest families with the most to gain from repealing the tax. Just nine families could dodge $25.7 billion in taxes, and perhaps as much as $54.7 billion, if the estate tax were repealed, depending on whether the calculation uses the current maximum tax rate of 40 percent rate or the average effective tax rate for estates over $20 million. The … Continued

IRS Makes Executors Ask, ‘Mother May I?’

  Administering an estate is never a joyous task, but it is a necessary one. We usually want to get it behind us as quickly as we can in order to move on with life’s business. Yet for reasons known only to itself, the Internal Revenue Service has just added a new item to an executor’s to-do list in order to settle an estate. In an update to its Frequently Asked Questions on estate taxes, the Service stated that, as … Continued

Smart Tax and Estate Planning Tips for LGBT Couples

  TAX PLANNING There will be a tremendous amount of income tax planning that must be analyzed for same-sex married couples in Florida and the 13 states that did not recognize same-sex marriages (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas). Advisors should help clients: Analyze prior year federal and state income tax returns to determine if there is a positive tax arbitrage worth the time and costs associated with amending prior … Continued

Most Significant Impacts for Same Sex Married Couples

The ability to file taxes jointly as a married couple (typically, the more a couple’s incomes differ from each other, the more they gain by filing jointly) •The married couple’s state estate tax exemption (where applicable) •The ability to access Social Security spousal and survivor benefits no matter where they live when they file (a recent analysis by Financial Engines estimated that a same-sex married couple could get $20,000 to $250,000 extra in lifetime benefits from Social Security that they … Continued