Federal Estate Tax Exemption

November 11, 2015   Estate Administration

Don't Make the Same Mistakes You've Seen in the Headlines

Now is the time to update your existing estate plan, or proceed with implementing a comprehensive estate plan. Why? First, we now know with certainty that the federal estate tax is not going away, and thus we should establish a plan that avoids or at least minimizes this voluntary tax.More importantly, if you don't, you just might end up like the host of celebrities who have made the headlines recently because they either had no estate planning or because the planning they did have was woefully out of date or otherwise inadequate.As the recent celebrity examples demonstrate, estate planning is not just about planning to avoid estate tax. Instead, estate planning is about accomplishing what is important to you and your family, like: passing values to your children and grandchildren; pas...
July 15, 2008   Estate Administration

Portability of the Federal Estate Tax Exemption - What does it Mean?

With the political and economic climate as it is in the summer of 2008, we are not likely to see total repeal of the federal estate tax in the foreseeable future. However, both Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates support estate tax reform. Realistically, such reform is at least one year away, but the outlines are already clear. And while the top estate tax rate and the exemption amount are not yet established, both candidates support making the exemption "portable" for spouses.On its face, exemption portability is a good thing. However, like many "good" things from Congress, this one may not be all that it is cracked up to be.What is "Portability"? Under current law, if a spouse dies without having planned for his or her exemption, that exemption...
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