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How to Work with Your Trustee/Your Beneficiaries

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article entitled, “The Trouble with Trustees” that outlined the issues that can come up between a trust beneficiary and a Trustee. The article focused on several themes that we’ve seen over the years: Frustration–a…
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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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Taking Parents Off the Hook

The New York Times published an interesting story this weekend on the expectations that parents and children have with respect to inheritances. The article summarized a study published in The Gerontologist last year, in which older adults and their children were polled on whether or not they…
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What Not to Leave Behind: Massive Piles of Paper

Recently, a client of mine described having to go through about 30 years of their father’s financial records after he had passed away. Needless to say, that’s not an easy task, especially when you’re not entirely sure what to look for, what to keep, and what to…
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The Kiddie Tax Explained

It’s that time of year! We are all thinking about taxes, but here’s a tax you may not have given much thought to: the Kiddie Tax. This is a tax that was imposed as a way to prevent high tax bracket parents from shifting income to their lower bracket children by placing…
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Tax time is a good time to review your assets

As we head into tax season, now is an excellent time to take a moment to make sure that your assets are correctly titled to your family’s living trust (if you have one). Assets held by your trust should say something like “Joe Smith,Trustee of Smith Family Trust,” or…

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