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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 […]

ABCs of HSAs: How an HSA can benefit your estate plan

One health care arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The good news is that not only does an HSA provide a tax-advantaged way to pay for health care costs, but it also can help you […]

Beware the GST tax when transferring assets to grandchildren

As you plan your estate, don’t overlook the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. Despite a generous $5.49 million GST tax exemption, complexities surrounding its allocation can create several tax traps for the unwary. GST basics The GST tax is a flat, 40% tax on transfers to “skip persons,” including grandchildren, other family members more than a generation […]

Don’t overlook tax apportionment when planning your estate

If you expect your estate to have a significant estate tax liability at your death, be sure to include a well-thought-out tax apportionment clause in your will or revocable trust. An apportionment clause specifies how the estate tax burden will be allocated among your beneficiaries. Omission of this clause, or failure to word it carefully, […]

Tax Reform Goals Outlined

The U.S. House Budget Committee has released a 2018 Budget Resolution titled “Building a Better America,” which aims to balance the budget within 10 years and end fiscal year 2027 with a $9 billion surplus. The deficit-neutral proposal includes a simplified tax code, lower individual and corporate tax rates, repeal of the alternative minimum tax, […]

The stretch IRA: A simple yet powerful estate planning tool

The IRA’s value as a retirement planning tool is well known: IRA assets compound on a tax-deferred (or, in the case of a Roth IRA, tax-free) basis, which can help build a more substantial nest egg. But if you don’t need an IRA to fund your retirement, you can use it as an estate planning […]

Revised Health Care Plan

Revised health care plan to be unveiled Thursday and senators will stick around Washington to (hopefully) tackle the issue. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that a revised version of major health care legislation would be made public on 7/13 and a vote is expected sometime next week. McConnell didn’t disclose any of […]

New Health Care Reform Report

The Congressional Research Service has issued a report providing a comparison of the House Republicans’ health care bill; the American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed on May 4; the Senate Republicans’ June 22 bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA); and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under current law. Tables show how provisions of the […]

Treasury Regulations

Tax regs listed on the chopping block under executive order. President Trump directed federal agencies to review all “significant tax regulations” issued on or after 1/1/16 that impose an undue financial burden on U.S. taxpayers or add undue complexity to the tax laws. The Treasury Department has identified eight regs that potentially qualify for burden […]

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 […]