Amidst the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, many US citizens who have worked abroad and paid into pension trusts may have missed a significant change made by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on 02 March 2020.
In this era of Congressional contentiousness, any legislation that comes out of those chambers with bipartisan support deserves note. Such is the case with the SECURE Act, an acronym for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement,” which was passed last July by a near-unanimous vote in the House of Representatives. But the SECURE Act also warrants a note of caution for those heavily invested in IRAs and/or 401(k) plans because it truly is a “game-changer,” and not for the better, when it comes to the distribution and taxation of withdrawals from inherited plans.
Relinquishing one's US citizenship can mitigate an individual's estate and gift tax obligations, but a "Covered Expatriate"* should plan carefully when disposing of assets. Internal Revenue Code Section 2801 imposes a tax on US citizens or residents who receive certain gifts or bequests from Covered Expatriates (CEs). Even if the property is non-US-situs property, all of it is subject to the 2801 taxing regime.
In the last few years, some of entertainment’s most iconic performers have left us. Both Prince and David Bowie passed in 2016, and just this year we lost Aretha Franklin. It seems a lot more recent, but it has been almost ten years since Michael Jackson passed away at age 50.
The political ground appears to be shifting on the taxation of assets that are transferred among family members as part of their estate planning. While many details have yet to emerge, there are indications that in 2017 there could be some tax law changes that would help families and their businesses preserve more assets and reduce tax liabilities. We reviewed those issues on May 15 at a Business Valuation Conference sponsored by the New York State Society of CPAs.
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 introduced the concept of portability. Portability allows the executor of a deceased spouse’s estate to transfer any unused estate tax exemption to the surviving spouse, as long as the surviving spouse was a US citizen or resident. In simple terms, portability of the federal estate tax exemption between married couples means that if the first spouse dies and the value of the estate does not require the use of all of the deceased spouse’s federal exemption from estate taxes, then the amount of the exemption not used for the deceased spouse’s estate may be added to the surviving spouse’s exemption when the surviving spouse later dies.
Social Security was created in 1935 to help Americans supplement their retirement income. The idea of Social Security is universal for Americans, but it is a complex system and can often cause confusion. Full retirement age is the age at which you can begin to collect full Social Security retirement benefits without any reductions.
Over the last year, after talking to many clients about estate tax planning, it became clear that even though the New York State estate tax law was changed on March 31, 2014, many people paid no attention to the changes. There was some good news regarding the change of law. The NY estate tax exclusion amount rises each fiscal year beginning April 1 until it equals the federal exclusion amount on January 1, 2019.
Differences Between the Generations By: Mark Ackerman, CPA When we perform estate financial and asset protection, it is important to take into consideration generational differences.
Typically, people do not begin to consider their long-term care until they are well into retirement. In today’s economic environment, it is essential to create and implement an elder care plan in your early 60s to ensure you take advantage of planning opportunities and have your wishes carried out. Outright Gifts
When we retire, we envision a life of freedom not only from the stress of work, but also freedom from debt. You can achieve this by estate planning, in terms of lifestyle protection. Unfortunately, a debt-free retirement has become less of a reality.
When doing estate planning or just protecting your family, life insurance is usually a key component of the process. You can provide financial protection for your family or your business in the event of your premature death. But, like many issues we have written about life insurance, while we know what it is, the different options can be very confusing.
Wills are typically read days after a death, which is typically too late to help people who must make immediate decisions. The best way to ensure your wishes are carried out is to create a separate document spelling out your requests. Tell your executor where to find it when the time comes, or better yet, give it to the executor before your passing.
In today’s world, estate planning is not just for the elderly. You need to be prepared for any future scenario. While it might seem like a bother and inconvenience now, from my experience, I cannot stress enough the importance of preparing an estate plan and the time, money and stress it will save your loved ones.
Besides protecting your family from financial hardship, life insurance can also be an estate-planning tool to transfer large sums to your loved ones free of estate tax and at little or no gift tax cost. This can be done using a life insurance trust. Life insurance trusts incorporated into estate planning can have significant current and future use in a wide variety of individual circumstances.
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death offers a lesson in estate planning mistakes to avoid. He left an estate reportedly worth $35 million to the mother of his three children, but due to improper planning, she is likely to face a multimillion-dollar tax bill, according to estate-planning experts who reviewed the will. Hoffman’s will was reportedly drawn up in October 2004 when he only had one son, prior to the births of his two daughters.