L&H Insights

3 Reasons You Should Continue Making Lifetime Gifts

Posted by L&H CPAs on Sep 25, 2018 11:57:43 AM



Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has reached a record high of $11.18 million (for 2018), it may seem that gifting assets to loved ones is less important than it was in previous years. However, lifetime gifts continue to provide significant benefits, whether your estate is taxable or not.

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Tags: Estate Planning

Tailoring the Role of Trust Protectors in Estate Planning

Posted by L&H CPAs on Sep 5, 2018 10:09:31 AM

Irrevocable trusts can allow for the smooth, tax-advantaged transfer of wealth to family members. But there’s a drawback: When you set up an irrevocable trust, you must relinquish control of the assets placed in it. What you can control is who will eventually oversee distribution of the assets after your death. That is, you can appoint the trustee. But if you aren’t completely confident that the trustee will carry out your wishes, you might want to appoint a trust protector, too.

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Tags: Estate Planning

#1 Argument Against DIY Estate Planning

Posted by L&H CPAs on Sep 4, 2018 9:39:00 AM

There’s no law that says you can’t prepare your own estate plan. And with an abundance of online services that automate the creation of wills and other documents, it’s easy to do. But unless your estate is small and your plan is exceedingly simple, the pitfalls of do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning can be many.

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Tags: Estate Planning

Clarifying the Special Needs Trust Rules

Posted by L&H CPAs on Aug 23, 2018 10:03:00 AM

If you have a child or other family member with a disabling condition that requires long-term care or prevents (or will prevent) him or her from being able to support him- or herself, consider establishing a special needs trust (SNT). Also known as a supplemental needs trust, an SNT allows you to enhance a family member’s quality of life without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for government benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

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Tags: Estate Planning

Document Your Most Important Wishes

Posted by L&H CPAs on Aug 16, 2018 10:46:00 AM

It may be difficult to consider, but funeral arrangements are a critical component of your estate plan. Failure to clearly communicate your wishes regarding the disposition of your remains can lead to tension, disputes and even litigation among your family members during what is already a difficult time.

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Tags: Estate Planning

Kiddie Tax Grows up - More Dangerous Than Ever

Posted by L&H CPAs on Aug 15, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Once upon a time, some parents and grandparents would attempt to save tax by putting investments in the names of their young children or grandchildren in lower income tax brackets. To discourage such strategies, Congress created the “kiddie” tax back in 1986. Since then, this tax has gradually become more far-reaching. Now, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the kiddie tax has become more dangerous than ever.

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Tags: Estate Planning

Charitable Gift Annuities - Double Duty Giving

Posted by L&H CPAs on Aug 9, 2018 10:48:00 AM

If you’re charitably inclined, you may wish to consider a charitable gift annuity. It can combine the benefits of an immediate income tax deduction and a lifetime income stream. Furthermore, it allows you to support a favorite charity and reduce the size of your future taxable estate.

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Tags: Estate Planning

What Happens to Your Bitcoin When You Die?

Posted by L&H CPAs on Aug 7, 2018 10:30:00 AM


Don't let digital assets complicate your estate planning process. Even though you can’t physically touch digital assets, they’re just as important to include in your estate plan as your material assets. Cryptocurrency is just the tip of the iceberg. Digital assets may include online bank and brokerage accounts, digital photo galleries, and even email and social media accounts. 

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Tags: Estate Planning

Administering an Estate or Inheriting Property?

Posted by L&H CPAs on Jul 31, 2018 11:13:18 AM

When it comes to tax law changes and estate planning, the substantial increases to the gift and estate tax exemptions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are getting the most attention these days. But a tax law change enacted in 2015 also warrants your attention.

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Tags: Estate Planning

Effective Estate Planning with the BDIT: A Trust with a Twist

Posted by L&H CPAs on Jul 25, 2018 10:09:00 AM

The beneficiary defective inheritor’s trust (BDIT) allows you to enjoy the benefits of a traditional trust without giving up control over your property. BDITs can hold a variety of assets, but they’re particularly effective for assets that have significant appreciation potential or that may be entitled to substantial valuation discounts, such as interests in family limited partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs). 

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Tags: Estate Planning

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