Legacy Planning

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    December 24th, 2012


    One Week to Go Checklist

    Since there is about one week to go in the year, we thought we would present a quick checklist for accounting and tax related items: Make sure that all checks for 2012 expenses are written and mailed by December 31 Make sure that any gifts made at year-end are deposited into the donee’s account before […]

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    December 19th, 2012


    Annual Exclusion Update

    I was talking with a reader from North Carolina today about our post from yesterday.  He was not sure if the annual exclusion amount was or was not included in the lifetime.  So, I have decided to do one more update on this subject.  The first $13,000 ($14,000) of gifts that you give to everyone […]

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    December 18th, 2012


    Annual Exclusion Does Not Eat Into Lifetime Exclusion.

    We had a reader ask the following question: “Am I correct in that this accumulation of gifts during lifetime does not include those under the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion ($13,000)?” It seems like most of my posts lately deal with estate and gift taxes, but this is a very important subject and with the end […]

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    December 17th, 2012


    What Does Unified Credit Mean?

    We have gotten a few questions lately on how the lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion are tied together.  In brief, transfers made during your lifetime are called gifts and reported on a gift tax return while transfers made at death are also a “gift”, but reported on an estate tax return. The gifts made during […]

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    December 16th, 2012


    Another Nice Feature of a Living Trust

    We have gotten some feedback on my previous post about revocable living trusts.  One of the features of a living trust versus a will is that the trust can be set up to provide for “guardianship” of your affairs during your lifetime should you suddenly become disabled, etc. You can create other forms of documents that […]

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    December 14th, 2012


    Revocable Living Trusts – Do They Save Estate Taxes?

    Nick Houle, one of our Estate Planning partners in our Minneapolis office, gave an one hour presentation on estate tax planning at the South Dakota Soybean Association annual meeting in Sioux Falls, SD yesterday.  I attended the event with Nick and talked to many farmers about succession and estate planning. One of the questions that […]

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    December 11th, 2012


    File Your Gift Tax Return

    I am in Chicago for a Firm Tax Partner meeting today and tomorrow and then head to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the annual South Dakota Soybean Association meeting.  One of my partners is speaking at this meeting on estate taxes and we have a booth at the show.  If there are any readers that […]

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    December 3rd, 2012


    Senator Baucus Urges Extension of Current Estate Tax Laws

    The current lifetime estate exemption is $5.12 million (indexed with inflation).  This lifetime exemption is scheduled to be reduced to $1 million with a top rate of 55% on January 1, 2013.  President Obama has proposed to reduce the exemption to $3.5 million with a top rate of 45%. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus […]

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    December 2nd, 2012


    What’s The Right Trust For Me?

    We received the following question from a reader: “Which type of estate trusts do you recommend or prefer, revocable or irrevocable, and why ?” Since this a blog, it would be impossible to fully answer this question, but I am going to give some of my general feedback on this question. First, a revocable trust […]

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    October 28th, 2012


    Updated 2013 Estate and Gift Tax Inflation Adjustments

    The IRS recently released Revenue Procedure 2012-41 that outlined all of the inflation adjusted items contained in the tax laws. There were a couple of provisions related to gift and estate taxes that apply to farmers. Beginning in 2013, you can now give up to $14,000 any individual(s) during the year and not have to […]

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