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Buy Low: Sell High. Pay Capital Gains Taxes.
Many of my clients come to me with a very Californian problem: they bought their home many years ago for a fraction of what that home is worth today. For example, their mid-century house near downtown cost them $125,000 in 1973 and could be sold for $3.2 million next weekend. While…
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What to Do if Your Child’s Custodial Account is Too Big?
Custodial accounts are an easy way to hold money for a minor child’s benefit. They have many advantages.  They’re free-it’s easy to open up a custodial account at any bank or financial services company.  (You’ll know if an account is custodial in California because…
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Making Smart Charitable Gifts
As the year draws to a close, now is the time to consider making charitable gifts, both because it’s a good thing to do and because year-end charitable gifts will provide tax deductions. In addition to the time-tested check writing method, here are three other ways that you can give…
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How to Give Your Kids Money Now That They Can’t Use Until Later
Recently, a client of mine asked me how to set up a trust to hold gifts to their children that those children wouldn’t be able to use for about twenty more years. This can be done by use of what’s called a “Crummey” Trust (named after the attorney who invented the…
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IRA Charitable Rollover Extended for 2014
Late in the year, and at the last minute, on December 16, 2014, Congress has extended the ability of those over 70 1/2 to make direct charitable donations from their IRA’s of up to $100,000, as long as they haven’t already taken out the required minimum distribution for 2014 and…
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IRS Year-End Gifts to Charity Tips
As 2014 draws to a close, many of our clients are thinking about making annual gifts to charities. The IRS has just posted a handy article with six tips to keep in mind to make sure that you can claim an income tax deduction for the gift. Here’s a summary: 1. Qualified charities. Make…
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IRS Extends Deadline for Portability for 2011-2013
The IRS has extended the deadline for filing an estate tax return for decedents dying in 2011, 2012, and 2013 to December 31, 2014. The purpose of the extension is to provide time for surviving spouses to elect portability on the return, which would allow them to use their deceased…
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Happy National Estate Planning Awareness Week!
Who knew?! I honestly had no idea that there was such a thing as National Estate Planning Awareness Week, but, in fact there is, and it’s the third week in October, established by House Resolution 1499 in 2008. When I worked in the US Senate, I was particularly thrilled by National Ice…
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