Estate Planning Tip: Naming Your Spouse as Trustee

When setting up a trust, your first instinct might be to name your spouse as the trustee. Just be aware that without proper planning, naming your spouse as the trustee may cause tax and administration difficulties down the road.

Couple holding hands on beach

If your spouse has broad and/or over-reaching powers over the trust corpus, the fair market value of the trust at his/her death may be pulled into her gross estate for estate tax purposes, resulting in higher death taxes. This result may be contrary to the goals and objectives of your overall estate plan.

Also, if your spouse has strained relationships with the principal beneficiaries of the trust, it may hinder his/her objectivity to comply with the terms of the trust. He/she may have some wiggle-room based upon broad language in the trust instrument to avoid making distributions to beneficiaries which may be contrary to your intentions.

Seeking the advice of a competent estate planning professional will help minimize the above mentioned difficulties.

Estate Planning Tip: Planning for Couples in a Second Marriage

There are many factors to plan and consider when preparing for marriage, especially if you have been married before.

Gold Wedding Rings

In a second marriage situation, it is important to discuss with your estate planning team exactly how estate taxes will be paid. If this is not properly addressed, there are situations where the estate taxes will be paid exclusively from the inheritance of the children of the first marriage. In this scenario, assets passing to the second to die’s heirs would not bear its appropriate share of the estate tax burden. With the proper planning, this unintended consequence can be avoided simply by including the necessary language in your will.

Client Update Newsletter: Winter 2013

When it comes to your business there is no one-size-fits-all formula to success – and your relationship with your CPA should be just as unique. That’s why we promise to deliver The Highest Standard of client service built on a foundation of frequent communication.

This newsletter is just one of the ways we help you stay up-to-date on tax and financial issues that impact business owners and financial professionals like you. From year-round tax planning to tips on how to maximize profits, this valuable resource is a must read. This quarter’s topics include:

  • Health care reform law gets underway for individuals
  • Year-End Tax Moves
  • 1099s: A little form with a painful bite
  • Business or hobby? Nine factors help the IRS decide
  • Financial tips for the 20-something generation
  • How to handle the financial issues after the death of a spouse

Click Here to Download the Newsletter

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Estate Planning Tip: Planning for Estate Taxes and Income Taxes on Business Earnings

When creating a trust to hold a business interest it is important to determine where the money will come from to pay the income taxes associated with the profits of the business allocated to the trust. Sometimes the trust instrument is drafted in such a way that the trust legally owns the business interest but the original grantor of the trust is the “deemed owner” for income taxes purposes only. This is common estate planning technique. The value of the business interest is removed from the grantor’s estate for estate tax purposes and the trust assets are not used to pay the income taxes on the profits. In this situation, the original owner is responsible to pay the income taxes but the trust legally owns the business interest.

Since the trust legally owns the business interest, the trust would be entitled to any distributions from the business not the grantor. The grantor would not be entitled to any funds from the business to pay the income taxes. Proper planning is needed to determine how the income taxes will be paid.

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Client Update Newsletter: Fall 2013

When it comes to your business there is no one-size-fits-all formula to success – and your relationship with your CPA should be just as unique. That’s why we promise to deliver The Highest Standard of client service built on a foundation of frequent communication.

This newsletter is just one of the ways we help you stay up-to-date on tax and financial issues that impact small business owners. From year-round tax planning to tips on how to maximize profits, this valuable resource is a must read. This quarter’s topics include:

  • Manage your MAGI to preserve tax breaks
  • Embezzlement: You need to know how it works to prevent it
  • Index funds could be the right investment choice for you
  • Do you have obsolete inventory?
  • Don’t get tripped up by a wash sale
  • Look into energy credits
  • 2014 HSA contribution limits released
  • What are the odds for audit selection?

Click Here to Download the Newsletter

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Client Update Newsletter: Summer 2013

When it comes to your business there is no one-size-fits-all formula to success – and your relationship with your CPA should be just as unique. That’s why we promise to deliver The Highest Standard of client service built on a foundation of frequent communication.

This newsletter is just one of the ways we help you stay up-to-date on tax and financial issues that impact small business owners. From year-round tax planning to tips on how to maximize profits, this valuable resource is a must read. This quarter’s topics include:

  • Give your children a good financial education
  • Recordkeeping: How to get all that paper under control
  • Six mistakes to avoid in selling your business
  • Tax Talk: Check your withholding and Don’t fall for bogus IRS e-mails
  • Can happy employees equal healthy profits?
  • Foreign assets may require two filings

Click Here to Download the Newsletter

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