All Posts By

Nicole Hart, J.D.

Understanding New York’s Estate Tax “Cliff” – Updated October 2019

By Blog
It has been more than five years since some dramatic changes were made to New York’s gift and estate tax law. For many clients, the subject of the New York estate tax “cliff” continues to remain a source of confusion. This is for good reason. The New York cliff is not easy to understand, nor is it easy to know how it may impact your particular situation. The answers below are intended to guide those who remain baffled by the New York estate tax cliff. For a quick snapshot of the 2019 estate and gift tax rates for New York,…
Read More
back to school iep tips

Special Needs and Special Education Planning: Part 2

By Blog
Back-to-school IEP Tips It’s only the middle of August, but your mind is firmly on September. If your child receives special education services, you don’t have the luxury of worrying about ordinary back-to-school stuff like school supplies and new backpacks. Instead, you’re wondering if the services your child is entitled to will be enough this year and, if so, if they will be offered appropriately. Your child will likely need to contend with a new team of teachers, a new mix of classmates, and a possible turnover of crucial special ed staff members. Will these changes be an opportunity for…
Read More

Important Gift Tax and Trust Income Tax Reminders

By Blog
As tax season is now in full swing, below are some important gift tax and trust income tax return reminders: Gift Tax Returns The lifetime exemption from gift and estate tax was $11,180,000 per person in 2018. Currently it is $11,400,000 per person for 2019. Generally, gifts made directly to a medical provider or educational institution on behalf of someone do not count against your lifetime exemption. In addition, donors have an annual exclusion from gift tax of $15,000 per donee. This means that a donor may give $15,000 to each of his or her three children, for example, without…
Read More
account beneficiaries

Pay Attention to How Your Accounts are Titled

By Blog
Does this blog post apply to you? Do you have sizeable jointly-held accounts with your spouse? Is your estate large enough that it could be subject to federal or state estate taxes? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then pay attention, because your Will may not do what you think it does. What’s the problem here? Your Will is not the end of the story. Your Will might only “work” if you title your accounts properly. It’s not uncommon for us to see well-drafted Wills with solid tax planning incorporated into the estate plan. In the case…
Read More

Basics of Federal Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer (“GST”) Tax

By Blog
The bad news is that there is a Federal tax on assets that you give away during life, at death, and to individuals two or more generations below you. The good news is that this tax will only apply to the wealthiest Americans and, even so, there are strategies you can use to minimize or avoid its application. The Federal estate, gift and GST tax only kicks in above a certain dollar threshold. Furthermore, there are additional wealth transfer strategies that do not trigger any tax at all if structured properly. Taxable Gifts There is a Federal estate and gift…
Read More
trump tax proposals

Cheat Sheet – Federal Estate, Gift and GST Tax (2019)

By Guides & Whitepapers
2019 Federal Estate, Gift and GST Tax Cheat Sheet Below is a summary of the current federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax provisions for 2019. Note that, under current law, the increases in exemption amounts that began in 2018 are set to expire in 2026, at which point they will revert back to the pre-2018 numbers (i.e., $5,490,000 per person, indexed for inflation). Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions Single: $11,400,000 Married: $22,800,000 Rate: 40% Gift Tax Exemption Single: $11,400,000 (unified with estate tax exemption) Married: $22,800,000 Rate: 40% Annual Exclusion Amount: $15,000 Exclusions for medical and educational expenses Generation-Skipping…
Read More
tax

Cheat Sheet – State Estate and Gift Tax – NY, CT, NJ and CA (2019)

By Guides & Whitepapers
2019 State Estate and Gift Tax Cheat Sheet States vary in whether and how they tax transfers of property.  A gift tax is imposed on property transferred while the donor is still alive.  Estate taxes are imposed on the transfers of property after the decedent’s death.  Below is a summary of certain estate and gift tax laws applicable to New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and California residents. New York Gift Tax: No. Estate Tax: Yes. Rate: Top rate is 16%. Exemption Amount: Currently $5,740,000. The gift and estate taxes are unified, but subject to "cliff" for taxable estates in excess…
Read More
IDGT

What is an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)?

By Guides & Whitepapers
Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (“IDGTs”) are a commonly used estate planning vehicle to transfer wealth to family members during the life of the grantor.  In this White Paper we will explore the four tax types relevant to IDGTs, and the mechanics of how an IDGT works. The use of the phrase “intentionally defective” is confusing, but it simply refers to an irrevocable trust where the grantor pay the trust’s income tax bill during his or her life. What taxes relate to an IDGT? There are four types of taxes to consider: estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer (GST) and income.  An IDGT…
Read More
year-end tax planning

2018 Year-End Tax Conversation with Howard Sontag & Nicole Hart

By and Blog
During our annual year-end tax conversation, Howard Sontag, Chairman, and Nicole Hart, Senior Vice President of Trusts & Estates, answer a number of your most pressing questions including: Do I need to call you to take my year-end losses? How do I know if I took my RMD? Are my taxes going to be higher this year because of tax reform? I’m thinking about setting up a retirement plan for my business – what do I need to know? When do I need to make my charitable contributions by? Do I still need to gift to my kids if I’m…
Read More