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January 2013 Archives

New Jersey residents face estate and inheritance taxes

The recent fiscal cliff tax deal, as we've previously noted, indefinitely extended the $5 million per person estate tax exemption amount. The exemption, indexed for inflation, is now at 45.25 million. That's pretty generous, and makes it so that many people don't have to worry too much about any estate tax at the federal level. That being said, there are still state inheritance and estate taxes to consider.

Wealthy families can still tweak last minute estate plans from 2012, P.2

In our previous post, we began to discuss the topic of leaving wealth to children. Specifically, we were speaking about people who took last minutes steps in 2012 to make gifts to children to take advantage of the high estate tax exemption, which has now become permanent. Leaving a lot of wealth to children isn't necessarily a bad thing. It depends on a lot of factors. In some cases, it isn't the best decision.

Wealthy families can still tweak last minute estate plans from 2012, P.1

Wealth transfer to younger generations has always been a significant concern for some wealthy families. How to leave money to the next generation without ruining their desire to work and be productive has always been a bit tricky. The new estate tax rules established by Congress late last month, while certainly a good thing for wealthy families, have left some of them with the question of whether to use their tax exemptions to leave as much as $10.5 million to their children, and if so, what is the best way to do so.

Asset protection planning, when done well, is great for estate plan

Asset protection is an important discipline that can contribute to effective estate planning. Everybody can benefit from a little asset protection panning, but especially business owners. That said, it is important to beware that not all asset protection planning is good asset protection planning. Some asset protection schemes are ineffective or borderline illegal.

Christie to decide whether to opt into expanded Medicaid eligibility under new federal law

Roughly 318,000 adults in New Jersey could obtain health coverage if Governor Chris Christie agrees to expand the Medicaid program under the federal health care reform law. Of the 318,000 adults who would be able to join Medicaid, 177,000 are-according to New Jersey Citizen Action-"the hardest working people who have paid into the program.

Estate planning may turn toward focus on elder law

With the recent passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, more widely known as the fiscal cliff deal, big changes have come to the estate planning world. As we noted in a recent set of posts on the issue, the law makes the 2010 exemption system permanent, removing the uncertainty that has surrounded the issue for years. Taxpayers will indefinitely be able to plan on a $5 million exemption amount, with yearly adjustments for inflation.

Native Americans and estate planning: passing on land

While estate planning can be a simple process, it can also be quite complex, depending on one's assets, goals, and family situation. The laws governing estate planning are primarily determined by each state, though some federal laws govern how estate planning is approached, particularly federal tax law. For Native Americans residing on a federally recognized reservation, estate planning is governed by the American Indian Probate Reform Act. One interesting aspect of estate planning for Native Americans is that natives who pass on land do not have a say in how it is managed.

Asset protection planning critical for those at risk for liabilities

Asset protection is an important aspect of estate planning. By asset protection we mean protecting one's wealth from liabilities so as to maximize the amount one is able to pass on. Asset protection planning is especially important for those who own small businesses, entrepreneurs, and other people.

Congress extends 2010 estate-gift tax exemption amount indefinitely, P.2

In our previous post, we began looking at the new fiscal cliff deal Congress came up with in the 11th hour, and the way it will affect estate planning in the coming year. As we noted, The same exemption amount will apply permanently, with adjustments for inflation, meaning that wealthy estates have less to pay in estate taxes.

Congress extends 2010 estate-gift tax exemption amount indefinitely, P.1

We've been talking about the estate and gift tax exemption debacle on this blog for a number of months now, informing our readers about the changes that could come in the New Year, and trying to stay on top of any developments. Now that Congress has come up with a fiscal cliff deal, we are able to relate to our readers how the changes will affect estate planning in the coming year.