5 Easy Tips to Simplify Your Year End Charitable Giving

Are you planning on making charitable donations before the end of the year?  The IRS reminds us that you must itemize deductions on your tax return to claim a deduction for these gifts.  In addition, the following five tips can help make those year-end charitable gifts count. Tip #1 – Give to a Qualified Charity.  Only gifts to a “qualified charity” are deductible on your income tax return.   The IRS offers a handy website, the Select Check tool, to determine whether your favorite organizations are qualified.  You can also deduct donations made to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and government agencies even if [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:32:16+00:00December 7th, 2015|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Four Steps to Stop Mail Addressed to a Deceased Person

One of the first things you should do as a newly appointed executor of a deceased person’s probate estate or successor trustee of a deceased trustmaker’s trust is to ask the post office to forward the deceased person’s mail to your address.  Unfortunately, along with important pieces of mail – statements, bills, and refunds – many not-so-important pieces – catalogs, solicitations, and plain old junk mail – will end up in your mailbox.  On the other hand, you may have purchased a home from a deceased person’s estate or trust and have received some of their mail at your new [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:43:57+00:00May 21st, 2015|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

Strategies for Reducing the Income Tax Squeeze on Irrevocable Trusts

Under federal income tax laws, irrevocable, non-grantor trusts (such as Bypass Trusts and Dynasty Trusts) are subject to highly compressed income tax brackets. In 2014, the top 39.6% tax rate kicks in at only $12,500 of trust income. In addition, trusts in the top tax bracket are subject to the 20% long-term capital gains rate and a 3.8% surtax on the lesser of undistributed net investment income or adjusted gross income over $12,500. What Can Trustees Do to Lower a Trust’s Taxable Income? Due to this unfavorable income tax treatment of irrevocable, non-grantor trusts, Trustees of this type of trust must plan [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:47:35+00:00September 29th, 2014|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Three-Year Review and the Three-Year Plan

Review your life’s circumstances from three years ago. Think about what you knew and what you didn’t know about managing your wealth. What were the top five lessons you learned? How have your views about money and wealth changed? Given all that, where do you want to be financially in three years? Think about how you will get there and how to do so efficiently. The Key Takeaways Taking the time to look back over the last three years will help you see accomplishments you may have missed in various areas of your life. Taking the time also to look forward three years will [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:48:25+00:00May 8th, 2014|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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