Estate Planning Options to consider before 1/1/13

There is a rare opportunity available now to make use of the $5.12 million exemption for both estate and generation-skipping tax. This exemption probably will expire on January 1, 2013 when the “fiscal cliff” automatic spending cuts go into effect and the Bush-era tax cuts are repealed. For those with more than enough assets to meet their needs, you have an opportunity to remove assets from your estate tax-free along with the appreciation in those assets between now and the date of your death. The Tennessee legislature repealed its gift tax earlier this year, making this an especially good time to act.  [Read more…]

What is the “Fiscal Cliff” and how does it Affect you?

The “fiscal cliff” that you keep hearing about refers to the tax increases and automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect in January 2013. If Congress does nothing to keep these spending cuts and tax increases from going into effect, economists predict serious damage to our economy – hence the going-over-a-cliff metaphor. The scheduled changes include the end of the Bush era tax cuts, automatic spending cuts resulting from Congressional failure to reach agreement on cuts, and new taxes that help to pay for the Affordable Care Act.  [Read more…]

Estate Planning is an on-going process

Recent events have reminded me that we all need to review an existing Will or trust every few years as life changes around us. The friend you appointed as Executor may prove to be less trustworthy than you thought, or your grown child may seem to be developing a drinking problem, or your adored daughter-in-law has filed for divorce from your son. People grow and change, and we sometimes find that our assumptions or predictions about the future are no longer valid.  [Read more…]