Insight on Estate Planning - June/July 2014

May 30, 2014

Related Practice: Estate Planning & Administration

Here's a brief glance at what you'll find in the June/July issue...

Adapting to the times: Estate planning focus shifts to income taxes

As the gift and estate tax exemption has significantly increased, and the estate tax rate decreased, individual income tax and capital gains tax rates have increased. This means that those who expect to have little or no estate tax liability should shift their focus to strategies for reducing income taxes. Fortunately, many estate planning strategies are available that can help reduce income taxes. This article discusses some of these strategies, with a sidebar looking at one in particular: the estate defective trust.

International estate planning 101

Many traditional estate planning strategies are based on the assumption that everyone involved is a U.S. citizen. But for those couples with a noncitizen spouse, special rules apply that require additional planning. This article examines some of the tax issues for resident noncitizens, as well as for nonresident aliens. It also notes three options for making tax-free transfers to a noncitizen spouse.

When is the optimal time to start receiving Social Security?

When to begin receiving Social Security benefits depends on each person's individual circumstances. This article shows how to determine a breakeven point — the age at which the dollar value of more (but smaller) payments roughly equals the value of fewer (but larger) payments.

Estate Planning Pitfall: You don't have a buy-sell agreement for your business

Without a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement, an owner's death can have a negative effect on the surviving owners. A buy-sell agreement requires (or permits) the company or the remaining owners to buy the interest of an owner who dies, becomes disabled, retires or otherwise leaves the business — thereby avoiding negative tax implications and possible squabbles among the survivors. This article notes that there are two basic types of a buy-sell agreement.

Planning for the care of minor children

Most Wills provide for minor children in the event that both parents are deceased, but are not effective in the event that a child's sole parent is alive but mentally or physically incapacitated. This article reviews steps you can take to protect your children if you are unable to care for them.

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The Insight on Estate Planning newsletter provides general information and is not legal or other professional advice.