Tag Archives: estate planning

November Election and Estate Planning

The Presidential election is around the corner. What does that mean for estate planning? Probably nothing, particularly if the Executive Branch and Congress remain split among the parties. In the past four years, a Democratic President and Republican Congress has resulted in no significant estate tax legislation. Thus, after 10 years or so of uncertainty …

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song sampling

Prince Dies Without A Will; Special Administrator Appointed

Although the quote: “Where there is a will, there is a way” is meant to encourage perseverance, it also seems appropriate in the estate planning realm as a Last Will and Testament can guide surviving family members as to the disposition of assets after a person’s death.  In the case of Prince, the quote is …

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The Artist’s Legacy – Gifts of Art to Family and Friends

On January 1, 2015, the gift and estate tax exemption increased to $5.43 million per person and to $10.86 for a married couple.  Artists who hope to take advantage of the increased exemption face unique challenges when making gifts to family and friends of visual art they have created.  Although specific situations can differ widely, …

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The Artist’s Legacy – Business and Legal Planning Issues

Photographers face unique issues that must be carefully considered to ensure a continued market for the creative output and to preserve the artistic reputation. Prudently managed business affairs will minimize problems commonly encountered when closing down a studio and during the transition of business affairs from the photographer’s life to the photographer’s estate. First, there …

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2014 Year-End Illinois Estate Planning: It’s Time for a Careful Review

As 2014 comes to a close, now is the perfect time for careful planning to address the income, estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes that can directly affect you.  In addition to making sure your estate plan is up to date, making a few important decisions now can reduce your tax liability later. Transfer Tax Exemption …

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Are iWills The Way of the Future?

Smartphones sure make lives a lot easier (and, arguably, busier). With a few taps of a screen, individuals can do everything from checking the weather to buying stock to engaging in FaceTime across the world. One individual in Australia recently came up with another innovative use for his smartphone. He used it to prepare his …

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In Estate Planning, Where There's a Will There's a Way

An August 15, 2014 article, by Robert Wood, in Forbes.com, told how many large companies, such as GM and Merck, pay zero taxes. It told how Apple avoided $9 billion in US taxes in 2012, according to a US Senate Report issued in 2013. In the estate world, billionaires such as George Steinbrenner, the Yankees …

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Tax Court Holds that a Trust can Qualify for the "Real Estate Professional Exception" of Section 469(c)(7)

The Tax Court recently handed down its decision in Frank Aragona Trust v. Commissioner, ruling that a trust can qualify for the real estate professional exception of Section 469(c)(7). By taking into account the actions of the trustees, a trust can be considered to be materially participating in real estate activities. This means that losses …

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Happy National Healthcare Decisions Day: Why an Advance Directive is a Crucial Part of Estate Planning

Today is a day that, until recently, I wasn’t aware had any independent significance other than being April 16. However, April 16 is – and has been for the past seven years – National Healthcare Decisions Day. You can see the website dedicated to this purpose here: www.nhdd.org Planning with an advance directive for health care decisions is only …

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Has Your Trust Lost Touch With Illinois? If So, It May Not Be Subject to Illinois Income Tax

  Overview In December 2013, an Illinois Appellate Court of the Fourth District held that an inter vivos trust – that had no connections with Illinois other than the fact that the settlor of the trust was residing in Illinois when the trust was created – was not subject to Illinois income taxation.  Linn v. Department …

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