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Estate Planning Archives | Wealthspire

Power of Attorney

Financial Dictionary No Comments
What is Power of Attorney 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. This agent is expected to place the principal’s interests ahead of his or her own, which is why it is important to pick a trustworthy agent. Different Types of POA There are many different types of Powers of Attorney (POAs), including a Financial POA, a Healthcare POA, Non-Durable vs. Durable POAs, General vs. Special POAs, and Springing POAs. …
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Trust

Financial Dictionary No Comments
What is a Trust? A trust is a legal relationship where the owner, or trustor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary. A trust is traditionally used for minimizing estate taxes and offers other benefits as a part of an estate plan. What is the Purpose of a Trust? While most typically associated with estate planning, trusts are created more broadly for the purpose of achieving certain goals in the transfer of assets. Many common goals in creating a trust include the reduction of…
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mental health trustee

Navigating Mental Health Issues When Serving as Trustee

By and Guides & Whitepapers
A Conversation with an Experienced Estate Attorney and Trustee At Wealthspire Advisors, there are several senior advisors who also serve as trustee for their clients. Mike Delgass is one such advisor. Mike is a Managing Director and has been with the firm since 2005. Before Wealthspire, Mike practiced as a trusts and estates attorney and was a partner at two nationally recognized law firms. Mike draws from his extensive legal experience not only to help his clients navigate complex tax planning, but also in his role as personal trustee for some of the families with whom he works. Though there…
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trust tax

How Are Trusts Taxed? FAQs

By Blog
With the tax season fast approaching, you may have questions about how your trust is taxed, who is responsible for tax filings, or how trust income taxes get paid. This blog will answer some common questions you may have about the taxation of your trust. Do all trusts pay income taxes? It depends. A trust is a separate legal and taxable entity. Whether the trust pays its own taxes depends on whether the trust is a simple trust, a complex trust, or a grantor trust. Simple trusts and complex trusts pay their own income taxes. Grantor trusts do NOT pay…
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cliff

Mitigate New York’s Estate Tax Cliff with Smart Estate Planning and Gifting Strategies – 2021 Update

By and Blog
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” blog post. What is the current exemption from New York estate tax again? The current New York estate tax exemption amount is $5,930,000 for 2021. Under current law, this number will remain until January 1, 2022, at which point it will rise again with inflation. Who does the Cliff affect? Everyone…
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tax law changes

Estate Planning in Light of Tax Reform: Your Questions and Our Answers – 2021 Update

By and Blog
This post will help you unpack some of the estate and gift tax provisions of the 2017 Tax Reform Act, as well as answer some of the most pressing questions raised by the changes. In a nutshell, what stayed the same and what changed? One major item that stayed the same is the simple existence of an estate tax. The initial tax reform bill from the House called for a complete elimination of the estate tax, which didn’t make its way into the final law.  Trump had also talked about altering the current date-of-death basis step-up for gains above a…
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gst tax

Basics of Federal Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer (“GST”) Tax – 2021 Update

By and 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…
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SLATs

Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATs): FAQs – 2021 Update

By Blog
What is a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT)? It is a trust that you (the grantor) set up for the benefit of your spouse and your descendants. You would make a gift to the SLAT, using some of your federal lifetime gift exemption (currently $11.7M in 2021) to shield that gift from gift tax. While you give up all your rights and control over the gifted assets, your spouse will have access to the gifted assets as beneficiary of the SLAT. When does it make sense to have a SLAT? You should consider creating a SLAT if you have a…
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new york estate tax cliff

Understanding New York’s Estate Tax “Cliff” – 2021 Update

By Blog
It has been over six 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. Does New York have an estate tax? Yes. New York, like several other states, has a…
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account beneficiaries

Pay Attention to How Your Accounts are Titled

By Blog
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 of a high net worth client,…
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