November 2009 Posts

  • US House to Vote on Estate Tax Bill Next Week

    ​This legislation would continue the current $3.5 million exemption and 45% rate, but does not include the spousal "portability." While the bill may very well pass in the House, Senate action is uncertain. ...
  • MLPs Provide Income and Tax Benefits

    This from Howard Hinds of the Curbstone Group in Boston: Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) are excellent tools for estate planning: 1. MLP distributions (around 8% yield right now) are considered return of capital, meaning that distributions reduce your basis in the MLP, while allocated net income increases your basis....
  • Senate Bill Introduced to Hold Estate Tax at 2009 Levels

    On November 17, 2009, Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and George V. Voinovich (R-OH) reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would freeze the estate tax at its current 2009 level (a $3.5 million exemption and 45% rate) and allow a surviving spouse to elect to use the exemption of the his or her predeceased spouse. ...
  • Family of NC Man Wrongly Declared Dead Sues Medical Examiner

    Sounds like a nightmare, but it’s true. After an auto accident, Larry Green was put into a body bag and refrigerated. The medical examiner dismissed paramedics’ claims of signs of life from Green’s "body."...
  • AMT Patch for 2010? Forget about it!

    And don’t even think about estate tax repeal. From Brian Dooley CPA, MBT’s newsletter: Update: The AMT patch is gone as seventy-three tax breaks will get a twelve month life. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. is introducing legislation next week that would keep a variety of tax breaks from expiring before the end of the year....
  • Bank of America Liable for Failure to Honor Power of Attorney

    In a recent Florida case, Bank of America was held liable for refusing to honor a power of attorney: Copyright 2009 Stuart News Company All Rights Reserved The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News (Stuart, Florida) November 15, 2009 Sunday Martin County Edition SECTION: LOCAL; Pg. B5 LENGTH: 496 words HEADLINE: Stuart man takes on Bank of America BYLINE: Melissa E. Holsman staff writer BODY: ...
  • Is Your Will a “Turkey”? 6 Ways to Tell

    Thanksgiving is less than a week away, but many people currently have turkeys of a different kind – poorly drafted Wills. If your Will is missing one or more of these features, it’s time for an update:...
  • Year End Gift Checks – make sure you do it right

    Many people are aware that they can give any number of other people up to $13,000 per year under the federal gift tax annual exclusion (IRC Section 2503(b)). Staying under this number means that no gift tax return has to be filed and that there will be no reduction in the amount that can be passed free of estate taxes at the donor’s death. ...
  • The IRS Loves Retirement Accounts

    Planning for tax-qualified plans, which includes IRAs, 401(k)s and qualified retirement plans, requires a careful examination of the potential taxes that impact these assets. Unlike most other assets that receive a “basis step up” to current fair market value upon the owner’s death, IRAs, 401(k)s and other qualified retirement plans do not step-up to the date-of-death value....
  • Further Delay on Estate Tax “Reform”

    ​Coming as no surprise to me, anyway, an article on the website CQ Politics,House Likely to Delay Estate Tax Consideration, states that the House will likely postpone any movement on estate tax legislation until after Thanksgiving. ...
  • Tax Court: Gifts to your own Private Foundation are Deductible

    This courtesy of Professor Chris Hoyt of the University of Missouri (Kansas City) School of Law: ...
  • No Relief for the Wealthy – Tax Predictions for the Next Decade

    From the GiftLaw eNewsletter article New Decade Predictions: "The clear intention of Congress is to start addressing the deficit in 2011 by increasing taxes on upper-income taxpayers. The top brackets are proposed to be returned to 36% and 39.6% in 2011. ...
  • Online Wills – You Get What You Pay For

    Last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal’s website featured an article on online estate planning programs: Before It’s Too Late: A Test of Online Wills. As you might imagine, I’m not a big fan of do-it-yourself estate planning, particularly for those who have substantial assets. ...
  • NC Revises Spousal Elective Share Law

    The Elective Share is the value of property a surviving spouse is entitled to get from a deceased spouse. In the absence of a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement waiving such rights, when the deceased spouse leaves less than the elective share amount to the survivor, he or she can enforce the elective share....
  • NC Trustees

    Effective October 1, 2009, Trustees of North Carolina trusts can, subject to certain requirements, appoint the trust property to another trust for the same beneficiary. ...
  • How Does Your Living Trust Stack Up?

    Click "Continue Reading" for a Comprehensive Living Trust Checklist to determine whether or not your trust needs to be upgraded. Thanks to attorney Thomas J. Bouman for the checklist, which I have modified for North Carolina purposes....
  • Life Insurance – an Estate Tax Time Bomb

    One common oversight I see when reviewing new clients’ financial status is failure to consider the estate tax impact of large life insurance policies. Most people know that life insurance proceeds are received free from income tax. ...
  • Purchase Agreement Not Countable Resource for Medicaid

    This report on the NC case of Estate of Wilson is from the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)’s eNewsletter: Kenneth Wilson was hospitalized from January 7, 2007 through the date of his death on February 22, 2007. While he was hospitalized, his community spouse, Doris, sold her 100% stock ownership in Brothers Deliver Service to her son pursuant to a purchase agreement. ...
  • New Website for High Net Worth Individuals and Advisors to Network

    Wealth Management Exchange is designed for networking and information exchange. One can sign up to receive email alerts on financial and estate planning topics....
  • NFA (Gun) Trusts Provide Many Advantages

    This posting is courtesy of my colleague David Goldman in Jacksonville, Florida, who has created a special trust for owning weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA)....
  • Most of us will be too poor to retire at 65

    According to the National Retirement Risk Index prepared by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 51% of American will not be able to afford to retire at age 65....
  • Wills – are You Aware or Blissfully Ignorant?

    Last week was National Estate Planning Awareness Week – I’m sure most of us didn’t know that, but awareness about the necessity of estate planning is pitifully low, so anything that can be done to help folks realize that it’s important to plan for the future is good....