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Jul 3, 2018, 5:21 PM
The number of people who itemize could fall by more than half in 2018 because of changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted on December 22, 2017. That's bad news for many charitable givers. But for those who are age 70½ or older, a tax benefit from their charitable contributions may be available even if they don't itemize. The key is to make the gift by way of a qualified charitable distribution (QCD).
Jun 25, 2018, 4:36 PM
Despite the current estate tax laws which have eliminated the estate tax for the vast majority of people, one of the most popular estate tax planning vehicles (the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust “ILIT”) still remains a corner piece of many estate plans. Few people realize all the benefits of an ILIT, and assume that without an estate tax liability, the ILIT has become obsolete – untrue.
Jun 22, 2018, 11:45 AM
Over the years, many clients, neighbors, friends, and family members have asked me what would happen to their assets if they were to die without a Will. Some people believe that if they die without a Will, their assets would become the property of the state in which they live. In fact, this belief is a misconception in all but the most limited circumstances.
Jun 12, 2018, 10:36 AM
Many married couples own their homes as Tenants by the Entirety with right of survivorship as at Common Law. This form of ownership usually protects the house in the event one of the spouses has a creditor issue (i.e. judgement). What many spouses and even some professionals do not realize is that married couples can own almost any asset (real or personal) as Tenants by the Entirety with the right of survivorship in Virginia and thereby protect those assets from the creditor of just one of the spouses.
Jun 4, 2018, 11:12 AM
In Virginia, most people’s estates are probated in the city or county in which they lived at the time of their death. For Virginia residents who pass away owning real estate outside of Virginia, probate matters can be significantly more involved.
May 18, 2018, 6:18 PM
If you’ve been appointed as a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated adult, you’ve petitioned the court and obtained an order in the incapacitated person’s home state. Should you and the incapacitated person move to another state, however, that guardianship order may not be recognized.
May 14, 2018, 10:45 AM
This is the unfortunate case of John Spottiswood and Nancy Miyasaki, a married couple seeking an abatement and refund of penalties they paid for late filing their return and late payment their 2012 income taxes. While this decision coming out of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will make all taxpayers a little nervous, it should scare the bejeezus out of tax return preparers. It serves as an example of how liability for tax return preparation and filing in general, has subtly shifted from taxpayers to the preparers with the proliferation of electronic tax return filing.
May 11, 2018, 10:20 AM
From 1987 through 2003, the federal estate tax exemption amount was between $600,000 and $1,000,000. This prompted many people to create Irrevocable Trusts to hold life insurance, or other Irrevocable Trusts to hold appreciating assets. The purpose was to remove life insurance proceeds or to remove the appreciation of an asset (think Amazon or Alphabet stock) from one’s taxable estate.
May 7, 2018, 11:08 AM
Many business owners struggle with the dilemma of how to retain their key employees without deluding their stock ownership in the company. This is especially applicable for closely held business owners who want to retain key personnel not only during the term of their ownership, but possibly when the owner turns over control to the next generation.
Apr 30, 2018, 10:00 AM
When a person dies owning a 401(k) or an IRA, must these accounts be used to pay the decedent’s debts, or are they exempt from the claims of the decedent’s creditors? The short answer is: it depends.