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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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State Inheritance and Estate Taxes

California is a big state, and it’s easy to get near-sighted. Because California has no state-specific gift or estate taxes, it’s easy to focus almost exclusively on the federal estate and gift tax exemptions when planning for the taxes due after there’s been a…
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Focusing on Income Tax for the 99.85%

Today, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.34 million, and this number is indexed to inflation, so will rise over time. I was recently at the Stanford University and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s annual Conference on Charitable Giving, and heard that the White…

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