Insight on Estate Planning - April/May 2020

Mar 30, 2020

Related Practice: Estate Planning & Administration

Here's a brief glance of what you will find in the April/May issue.

Beware of the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

Thanks to recent tax law changes, most families can avoid liability for federal estate and gift taxes. However, there’s a lesser-known tax whammy that can hit wealthy individuals without warning: the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. As its name implies, the GST tax generally applies to transfers that “skip” a generation. This article details the GST tax. A sidebar explains GST tax strategies.

To File or Not to File? A Gift Tax Return Doesn’t Always Have to Be Filed

Now that fewer people are subject to federal gift taxes, because of a generous $11.58 million lifetime gift tax exemption for 2020, a question many are asking is: “Do I need to file a gift tax return?” The short answer is “no” if one’s wealth is well within the exemption amount. This article examines the scenarios where it’s necessary (and possibly advantageous) to file Form 709 — “United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.”

Letter of Instructions: Make Your Thoughts Crystal Clear to Your Family

Generally, every estate plan requires a will, but this main attraction may be complemented by other documents, like a letter of instructions. The letter, unlike a valid will, isn’t legally binding, but can be valuable to surviving family members. This article details what a letter of instruction should cover.

Estate Planning Pitfall: You Fail to Mention a Close Relative in Your Will

Typically, a person arranges to leave most of his or her assets to various family members, including a spouse and children. These dispositions are spelled out in a will. But what happens when one fails to mention a close relative in a will or wants to disinherit a loved one? This brief article explores potential outcomes of not clearly communicating your wishes in your will.

Why a Pre- or Post-Nuptial Agreement Might Be Right for You

As more couples delay marriage, the legal implications of marriage may be more significant and require additional planning. Whether you’re contemplating marriage, or were recently married, you may want to consider a marital agreement. This article outlines what is typically covered in a marital agreement.