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Income Tax Planning

Trust Beneficiary Basics

family gift

How Do I Know If I Am a Trust Beneficiary?  You are a trust beneficiary when you are named in a Trust as a person who will receive or may receive a distribution of cash or assets from the Trust.  Often, if you are a beneficiary, the trustee or another person administering the trust will contact you to tell you that you are a beneficiary.If a close relative has died, and you believe that you may be a trust beneficiary, it is appropriate, after a reasonable period of time has elapsed, to inquire about your relative’s estate planning documents.  Often,...

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Implications of New Leadership in the White House

The White House

Regardless of the outcome of this election, we can be certain that the future of estate taxes is uncertain.Both major party candidates for president have set out proposals for changes in US fiscal policy.  Fiscal policy is not set solely by the president, but if the president has cooperation from Congress, he or she can have a major impact.Current federal estate tax law exempts estates worth $5.45 million or less ($10.9 million for a married couple). Estates worth less than $5.45 million will not pay any estate tax at all.  According to a 2015 report from Congress’s Joint Committee on...

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New Proposed Regulations Under Code §2704

family business

On August 4, the Treasury Department issued long-awaited Proposed Regulations on valuation discounts for family-owned businesses under §2704 of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”).  The regulations are out for public comment until the public hearing on December 1, 2016.  If adopted, the regulations will become effective on or after the date of publication of the Treasury decision.The Proposed Regulations will introduce significant changes that eliminate almost all valuation discounts in the family context.  These changes clarify the application of IRC §2704 and curb transfer tax valuation discounts used by family-owned businesses.  The Proposed Regulations (1) apply to limited liability companies...

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Estate Planning after Divorce

Divorce

Divorce will involve serious and important questions related to minor children, division of assets, and financial support.  Often, after the divorce is finalized, crucial estate planning considerations may be overlooked.The last thing you’ll want to do after a divorce is more legal work.  Nevertheless, it is crucial to properly update, correct, and understand your estate planning after divorce.  Here are a few issues to consider:Your Estate Planning Attorney: It is typical for a married couple to use the same attorney for their estate planning.  Once you are divorced, your financial and personal interests with your former spouse are no...

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Recent Developments in Estate and Tax Planning . . . and What to Expect in 2015*

2014 was a relatively quiet year by historical standards, but there were nonetheless some major cases and pronouncements from the IRS that have a significant impact on clients and our practices. This article addresses the more significant events of 2014 . . . and planning ideas and actions you may want to consider as a result. FACTAThe Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) took effect July 1, 2014. Originally signed into law in 2010, FACTA was designed to fight tax evasion by taxpayers with undisclosed foreign financial accounts and other offshore assets by requiring reporting with respect to those accounts and...

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How You or Your Trustee Can Use Trusts to Reduce Taxable Income Now

With the year-end approaching fast, now is the time to consider ways to reduce your 2014 income tax bill. In this issue you will learn:      How you can use charitable trust-based planning to reduce your taxable income; and       If you are the Trustee or beneficiary of an irrevocable, non-grantor trust (such as a Bypass Trust or Dynasty Trust), how you can use distributions, trust reformation, and investment shifting to reduce the trust’s taxable income.If you would like to learn more about these trust-focused, income-reducing strategies, please call our office at (714) 384-6580 today.Quick Review of...

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