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Estate Planning Archives - Wealthspire Advisors

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

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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,…
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Important Gift Tax and Trust Income Tax Reminders

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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…
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Mitigate New York’s Estate Tax Cliff with Smart Estate Planning and Gifting Strategies (2019 Update)

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While the large increase in the federal estate tax exemption has provided many with federal estate tax relief, New Yorkers must continue to plan for New York estate tax.  For a quick review of the New York Estate Tax “Cliff” basics, see the “Understanding New York’s Estate Tax “Cliff” blogpost. What is the current exemption from New York estate tax again? The current New York estate tax exemption amount is $5,740,000 for 2019. Under current law, this number will remain until January 1, 2020, at which point it will rise again with inflation. Who does the Cliff affect? Everyone with…
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Pay Attention to How Your Accounts are Titled

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

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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…
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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…
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IDGT

What is an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)?

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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…
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POAs

Designating Powers of Attorney (POAs)

By Guides & Whitepapers
Selection, Documentation, and Communication Best Practices Most of our clients put Powers of Attorney or “POAs” in place as they age. POAs are legal documents that allow you to name an “agent” (also sometimes referred to as an “Attorney-in-fact”) to act on your behalf for financial or health care decisions, and are key components of any estate plan. We believe POAs are increasingly important beyond your estate plan too. Consider the following examples: Parents of college-aged adult children need healthcare POAs to interact with doctors and be involved with their children’s health care decisions. A business associate needs a non-durable…
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Estate Plan Review

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Have you seen your customized Estate Plan Overview report yet? We can now create a customized report for you that summarizes all the relevant details of your estate plan, including the terms of your Wills, Revocable Trusts and Advance Directives. It also includes a handy checklist of estate-related items to remind you what you should be reviewing regularly. To create an Estate Plan Overview for you, all we need are signed copies of your most recent estate planning documents. Please contact your advisor with any questions. CLICK HERE for a sample Estate Plan Overview report.
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Preparing to Meet with Your Estate Planning Attorney

By Guides & Whitepapers
You can streamline the estate planning process by coming prepared to your first meeting with your estate planning attorney. It will be helpful if you have taken some time to consider who you would like to name as guardian, executor and trustee, as well as who you would generally like to inherit your property. In addition, your attorney will ask for some basic information from you in order to best advise you. Below is a list of the information and documents that we recommend you make available to your estate planning attorney. If you are married, you should provide information…
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