If you have a moderate to large estate, one of your estate planning goals should be to limit the amount of gift and estate taxes your estate owes after you are gone. Failing to plan for the impact estate taxes could have can result in the loss of a significant portion of your estate. To help you better understand, we will discuss how to limit your estate’s exposure to estate taxes. Federal Gift and Estate Tax Basics Every estate is potentially subject to federal gift and estate taxes. The … [Read more...] about How Can I Limit My Estate’s Exposure to Estate Taxes?
What is tax avoidance? It is the employment of lawful tactics to legally avoid or lower taxes. This includes various estate planning strategies, legitimate charitable deductions and charitable trusts or foundations, accelerating tax deductions, deferring income, and creating legal entities, to name a few. What is tax evasion? It is any plan to reduce taxes through illegal means. The IRS often refers to them as abusive tax shelters. There is a long history of hucksters and grifters who … [Read more...] about Don’t Cross Over the Line Between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion
Receiving an inheritance may be exciting for some, but stressful for others. There are many questions that arise when individuals get word that they are about to inherit from a loved one. The most common question is: will I have to pay an inheritance tax? Luckily, if you live in California, there is no California inheritance tax, but that is not true in every state. Here is what you need to know: What is inheritance tax? An inheritance tax, as the name implies, is a tax imposed by the … [Read more...] about Is there a California Inheritance Tax?
When a loved one dies, the money and property included in their estate need to be distributed to their heirs. In many cases, the estate must go through the probate process in order for the assets to be properly distributed. The basic probate process requires completion of several steps in order to close probate and make those distributions. This article will explain the 7 basic steps required in the California probate process. Before the probate process can formally begin, you need a personal … [Read more...] about 7 Basic Steps of the Probate Process
Is There a California Estate Tax? from Timothy Murphy We pay taxes on different levels all throughout our lives. You would probably like to think that your death is not going to be a taxable event. Unfortunately, the tax man has other ideas. … [Read more...] about Is There a California Estate Tax?
A probate attorney, commonly referred to as an estate attorney, focuses on assisting a Personal Representative through the entire probate process from beginning to end. A probate attorney can be an invaluable resource because the laws in each state are different with regard to probate proceedings and all of the requirements imposed by the probate court. In fact, the first piece of advice for a personal representative is “hire an attorney.” Here's why. What is involved in estate … [Read more...] about Estate Administration: A Probate Attorney Can be Invaluable
You just found out that you will inherit from a loved one's estate. While this might be exciting news, it may also cause some concern. Most people know that estate taxes are typically imposed. Whether or not an heir has to pay any inheritance tax depends entirely on your state. Since state laws are constantly changing, it would be wise to consult with your estate planning attorney if you are receiving an inheritance. Here are the answers to five common inheritance tax questions. No. 1 – … [Read more...] about Answers to Five Inheritance Tax Questions
The importance of trusts in estate planning is seen in their ability to minimize estate taxes and hopefully avoid probate. A trust is basically a fiduciary agreement, one based on trust and confidence, between the person making the trust (grantor) and the trustee. This agreement gives the trustee the authority to manage the assets of the trust and distribute those assets to the beneficiaries as specified in the trust agreement. There are several different types of trusts with their own … [Read more...] about Trusts Can Satisfy Many Different Objectives
There are many people who have ideological difficulties with the fairness of the federal estate tax. Where does this idea come from? Throughout your life, you pay taxes on your income, and this includes investment income, even though you make investments with assets that you have left over after paying income taxes. Of course, there are also property taxes, sales tax on your purchases, and somewhat hidden taxes on things like energy, communication, hospitality, gasoline, alcohol, tobacco, … [Read more...] about The History of the Federal Estate Tax
There are terms that are used in the field of estate planning that can sound interchangeable, and this can lead people to misguided beliefs. This dynamic enters the equation when it comes to death taxes. You may assume that an inheritance tax and an estate tax are identical. The idea is that these are just two different terms that can be used to describe the same thing. If you are not an estate planning professional, this assumption may make sense, because they do sound quite similar. In … [Read more...] about Is There a Federal Inheritance Tax in the United States?