A family walking in a park

Traditional estate planning strategies generally are based on the assumption that all family members involved are U.S. citizens. However, if you or your spouse is a noncitizen, special rules apply that may require additional planning. Defining “residency” and “domicile” If you’re a U.S. resident, but not a citizen, you’re treated similarly to a U.S. citizen […]

Four people riding bycicles in a bike lane

Whether you’re moving to another country for work-related reasons, retirement or simply want an opportunity to experience a new culture, it’s important to understand the potential tax and estate planning implications. If you don’t, you could be hit with some unpleasant surprises. Here are three possible pitfalls: Double taxation. If you’re a citizen of the […]

If you’re in line to inherit property from a parent or other loved one, it’s critical to understand the basis consistency rules. Current tax law, passed in 2015, provides that the income tax basis of property received from a deceased person can’t exceed the property’s fair market value as finally determined for estate tax purposes. […]

Three generations of women; mother, daughter, & granddaughter

For 2020, the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption has reached a whopping $11.58 million ($23.16 million for married couples). As a result, few people will be subject to federal gift taxes. If your wealth is well within the exemption amount, does that mean there’s no need to file gift tax returns? Not necessarily. There […]

Two people running on a trail

Virtually everyone needs an estate plan, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Even though each person’s situation is unique, general guidelines can be drawn depending on your current stage of life. If you’ve gotten married, for example, now is the time to build the foundation for your estate plan. And, if you’ve recently started a […]

Two people exchanging gifts

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act temporarily doubled the gift and estate tax exemption from $5 million to $10 million (adjusted annually for inflation) for gifts made or estates of decedents dying after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2026. However, after 2025, the exemption is scheduled to drop back to pre-2018 levels. To […]

Trust written on a piece of paper ripped in half

Estate planning advisors recommend that you periodically revisit your estate plan because of changing circumstances. An irrevocable trust that works fine when it’s established may no longer achieve its original goals if your family circumstances change or new tax laws go into effect. If you have one or more trusts in need of repair, you […]

A last will and testament on a table

Estate planning is often associated with the division of your assets, and this is certainly a key component. It’s typically accomplished, for the most part, by drafting a will, which is the foundation of an estate plan. With a valid will, you determine who gets what. It can cover everything from the securities in your […]

Paper with Self-Directed IRA written on it

Traditional and Roth IRAs can be powerful estate planning tools. With a “self-directed” IRA, you may be able to amp up the benefits of these tools by enabling them to hold nontraditional investments that offer potentially greater returns. Self-directed IRAs offer the same estate planning benefits as traditional IRAs, but they allow you to transfer […]

Traditionally, trusts used in estate planning contain “Crummey” withdrawal powers to ensure that contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. Today, the exclusion allows you to give up to $15,000 per year ($30,000 for married couples) to any number of recipients. Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has reached an inflation-adjusted $11.4 […]