ATRA Tag

Alert: New Estate Tax Laws and How Portability May Impact Your Beneficiaries

If you have estate planning documents that are more than a year old, you probably need to have them reviewed by an estate planning attorney. Why? Because 2 big changes (among others) were made to the estate tax laws. Here’s the scoop… Congress set the estate tax exemption amount “permanently” at 5 million indexed for inflation. The 2014 exemption amount is $5,340,000. This means with good foundational estate planning a married couple can shelter $10,680,000 from federal estate taxes. Most people are well below this 10 million dollar figure but that doesn’t mean there is no...

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Creative Estate Planning for Clients No Longer Subject to the Federal Estate Tax

When Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), roughly 99.8 percent of U.S. taxpayers became shielded from the federal estate tax (aka the "death tax"). So what does this mean for estate planning? Post-ATRA estate planning appears dramatically different than in years past. For the first time in U.S. history there is a “permanent”, inflation-adjusted and portable exemption amount that essentially excludes the extremely wealthy, from gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. This is extremely important since, for the past decade, there was a great deal of uncertainty in estate planning. Prior to ATRA, there had been a phased-in...

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Why the 645 Election for Trusts has Become Important under ATRA 2012

Trusts are an attractive estate planning option because they provide an asset management vehicle during your lifetime and can provide more flexibility in terms of who receives your assets, and how they receive those assets. Another benefit is something called a "Section 645 election." Congress created an opportunity for trustees of a funded revocable trust to utilize certain tax advantages under section 645. When the executor (if there is one), or trustee, of your estate make a Section 645 election, the trust is treated, for income tax purposes, as part of the decedent's estate for all tax years of the estate...

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How the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) Affects Estate Planning

By Bobby Feisee, Ashburn Estate Planning Attorney The “fiscal cliff” could have been a fiscal nightmare for people with sizable estates. For example, if we actually went over the cliff, the estate and lifetime gift exemption would have decreased from $5.12 million to $1 million, according to Forbes.com. It would have also meant the possibility of reducing, or outright eliminating, legal wealth transfer strategies. Fortunately, Congress acted quickly after January 1, 2013 and passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). But you may be asking, “how does this affect my estate plan?” Good question. We discussed some of the implications...

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