The Estate PLANNER
Here's a brief glance at what you'll find in the September/October issue. (Please see the PDF link below to view the entire publication.)
MINING THE GENERATION GAP: ESTATE PLANNING STRATEGIES FOR YOU AND YOUR PARENTS
Shifting income to family members in lower tax brackets can be a powerful tax-reduction strategy that applies not only to children, but to parents as well. As this article explains, under some circumstances it can be beneficial to transfer appreciated, income-producing assets to parents with the understanding that they'll be returned upon the parents' deaths. Another is to have them convert or roll over traditional IRA or qualified retirement plan balances into a Roth IRA. A sidebar discusses the expansion of the "kiddie tax."
ARE YOU PART OF A NONTRADITIONAL COUPLE? UNMARRIED AND SAME-SEX MARRIED COUPLES FACE ESTATE PLANNING HURDLES
The federal gift and estate tax laws, as well as the laws in most states, were designed with "traditional" marriages between a man and woman in mind. For those who don't fall within that category because they and their partner aren't married or because they're part of a same-sex marriage, thorough planning is required to meet their estate planning goals. This article looks at the legal environment as it pertains to same-sex marriages, the importance of estate planning documentation for nontraditional couples, and gifting strategies.
ASSET VALUATION: A KEY COMPONENT OF YOUR ESTATE PLAN
When one makes a noncash gift, a professional valuation can reduce the chances that the IRS will challenge the gift tax return, thus decreasing the possibility of unplanned tax liability. This article examines the three-year statute of limitations during which the IRS can challenge the value that's reported on a gift tax return, along with the penalties for making "substantial" or "gross" misstatements.
ESTATE PLANNING RED FLAG: YOU HAVEN'T RECENTLY REVIEWED YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS
No matter how carefully one plans their estate, their objectives can easily be thwarted by inappropriate beneficiary designations for IRAs, 401(k) plans or other retirement accounts. This article lists some of the most common mistakes, such as designating one's estate as beneficiary or not updating beneficiary designations after a divorce.