Thursday, 27 April 2017 01:52

Trump's 2017 Tax Plan

Trump’s 2017 Tax Plan

 

On Wednesday, April 26, 2017 President Trump presented a proposal to overhaul the Tax Code.  The proposal was very brief – just one page.  Of the seven items, I wish to discuss only two because they most influence Estate Planning, and those are the proposed changes to Capital Gains, and the Federal Estate Tax.

 

Proposed Changes to Capital Gains:

Proposed to be reduced from 23.8% to 20%

 

 

Proposed Changes to the Federal Estate Tax:

 

Complete elimination of the Federal Estate Tax.  It is indexed for inflation, and as of 2017 it is:

Individual – $5.49 million, and for married couples it is $10.98 million (double what it is for a single person)

 

 

What are Capital Gains?

 

When you buy something and it goes up in value by the time you sell it, you’ve realized a Capital Gain, and you are supposed to pay taxes on that gain.  Many people think this only applies to rich investor types, but in-fact, it applies to a single silver coin, your Samsung TV, or whatever!

The 3.8% reduction represents the 3.8% surtax that was added by President Obama during his administration to help fund Obama Care (or the Affordable Care Act).

 

 

What is the Federal Estate Tax (or sometimes “Federal Estate Tax Exclusion”, or “Federal Inheritance Tax”, or “Federal Death Tax”)?

 

This is the amount that can be passed to your beneficiaries free of any tax imposed at the federal level.  Luckily for most of us, this tax never kicks in and gets applies to our estate.  As a matter of fact, it only applies to less than 1% of the population.  I said “luckily”… perhaps we’d all like some of that luck!

 

See my Blog for a more detailed discussion of Federal Estate Tax and see my discussion of how the Marital Deduction plays a part in the Federal Estate Tax.

 

Estate planning is more than just saving on taxes (at any level).  If you need help, please feel free to give me a call.  I always answer my own phone.

 

 

Conclusion

Well, for now there is no conclusion.  We will keep our eye on things and see what happens.  These were just proposals after all.  Stay tuned!

My most important job is to listen to your wishes then suggest solutions.  Call today and let’s start planning!

 

See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Dan Powell

 

1-619-980-2297

 

****Reminder****

Just like my website, nothing in this blog is intended as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I am licensed to practice law in California.  Further, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog (and on my website). There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would not be practical to discuss all of them here. This is why I speak in generalities. Thanks again for reading.

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This document is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice.  Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship.  If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information.

Published in Trump's 2017 Tax Plan

ILIT Trusts – Do I give the Policy Proceeds Outright, or in Trust?

 

So doesn’t a life insurance policy usually just pay a lump sum to the beneficiary?  The answer is yes unless the beneficiary is a minor.  If that is the case, the UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) or a guardian will need to be appointed which costs time and money.  The guardian will have to control the assets and administer the proceeds until the minor reaches the age of majority.  A lump sum can also be thought of as an outright gift because there is no control or restrictions.

 

Outright, or in Trust?

Outright gifts can present a variety of problems such as:

  • If the beneficiary receives means tested public benefits such as Medicaid or SSI (Supplemental Security Income), the outright gift may put the receiving of these benefits in jeopardy.
  • If the beneficiary of an outright gift is a minor, a guardian will have to be appointed (if one is not already in place) by a court which takes time and costs money.
  • An outright gift can be dangerous if the beneficiary has a substance abuse problem.
  • A lump sum gift may not be the best to protect the beneficiary from a bad marriage, creditors, or predators.
  • Even one that is good with money may experience problems if given a large sum of money all at once.

 

For these reasons alone a gift given in a Trust is preferable.  A Trust (a Revocable Trust or an Irrevocable Trust) can control or guide the proceeds and provide very little control, to a high level of control. 

 

An ILIT (Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust) can be structured just like a Revocable Living Trust in how the proceeds are to be given to the beneficiaries.  The Trust can provide no guidance or control, or the Trust can provide a lot of guidance and control over the distribution of the proceeds. 

 

Please see my Blog for continued discussion of various aspects of ILIT Trusts.

 

See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com

 

Please feel free to give me a call and we can establish your Living Revocable Trust, ILIT, or other Estate Planning goals today.  If you have specific estate planning objectives, I can help create solutions to achieve your specific purpose. 

 

Thanks for reading my blog.

 

 

William Daniel Powell

619-980-2297

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

****************

This document is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice.  Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship.  If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information

Also, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog and my website. There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would be impractical to discuss all of them here.

****************

ILIT Trusts – Keeping the Proceeds out of the Insured Estate for Federal Estate Tax Purposes

 

 

Do Life Insurance Proceeds get Included in my Estate for Death Taxes?

 

What are Death Taxes?  For the purpose of federal tax, the is something called federal estate tax exclusion and it is adjusted, or indexed, for inflation.  In 2016 the federal estate tax exclusion is $5.45 million dollars for an individual, and $10.9 million dollars for a couple.  That means that an individual dying in 2016 with an estate valued at less than $5,450,000 dollars will not owe any federal estate tax.

 

So how do we determine what is includable in the decedents estate for federal estate tax?  Let’s leave that for another discussion.  Suffice it to say that generally life insurance IS includible in the insured’s estate for death tax purposes.  Even an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) may be included in the insured’s estate.  An ILIT is used expressly TO keep the proceeds out of the insured’s estate, so what gives?  Well, if the Irrevocable Trust is poorly drafted or managed, the proceeds may be included.  Also, if the insured gratuitously transfers all the rights in the policy within three years of his or her death, the Internal Revenue Service code section 2035(a) makes the proceeds includible in the decedent’s estate for federal estate tax purposes.   The reason is the way the IRS sees it is that the gift was made “in contemplation of death”, and therefore is disallowed. 

 

 

Does an ILIT’s proceeds get included in my Estate for Death Taxes?

 

The purpose of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust is to keep the proceeds out of the insured’s estate for federal estate tax.  This is achievable if the above criterion is met (policy not transferred within three years of the insured death), and certain other criteria is also met.  One of these is that the insured must not require that the beneficiary use the proceeds to pay obligations of the estate such as taxes.  Another is that the insured must not possess “incidents of ownership”.

 

 

What are Incidents of Ownership?

 

Incidents of ownership means the power of the insured or his or her estate to control the proceeds of the policy, the power to change beneficiaries, to assign the policy, to borrow or loan from the policy, and others. 

 

So, as you can see there are many restrictions and requirements in how the Trust is drafted, and how it is maintained in order for this ILIT Irrevocable Trust to function as intended.   Consult an attorney like me for your Estate Planning needs to help insure a proper outcome. 

 

 

Please see my Blog for continued discussion of various aspects of ILIT Trusts.

 

 

Please feel free to give me a call and we can establish your Living Revocable Trust, ILIT, or other Estate Planning goals today.  If you have specific estate planning objectives, I can help create solutions to achieve your specific purpose. 

 

See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com 

 

Thanks for reading my blog.

William Daniel Powell

619-980-2297

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

****************

This document is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice.  Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship.  If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information

Also, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog and my website. There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would be impractical to discuss all of them here.

****************

What is The Marital Deduction in Federal Estate Taxes?

 

 

Unlimited Marital Deduction

 

What is the Unlimited Marital Deduction? The Unlimited Marital Deduction allows the first spouse to die to transfer an unlimited amount of property to the surviving spouse free of Federal Estate Tax.  This does not mean that the second spouse to die will not have any Federal Tax liability.  Whether the second spouse to die will owe federal estate tax depends on the size of the estate when the second spouse passes.  In 2016, if the estate is less than $10,900,000, the spouses can pass all of their estate to their heir’s federal estate tax free (as long as it is properly passed).

 

 

Estate and Gift Tax Exclusion

 

In 2016, the IRS has set the Estate and Gift Tax Exemption amount at $5.45 million dollars for an individual.  Thus, a married couple can leave $10,900,000 to their heirs free of Federal Estate Tax.  This Estate Tax Exclusion amount is indexed and adjusted for inflation and was increased from $5.43 million in 2015.

 

 

Portability

 

Now what is Portability? Portability is the ability of the second spouse to use the unused estate tax exclusion amount of the first spouse to die.  If the first spouse to die does not use all of their estate tax exclusion, this is called the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount or DSUE.  This unused portion used to be lost, but now portability can save this unused amount for the benefit of the second spouse upon their passing.  Upon the second spouses passing, their applicable Estate Tax Exclusion (in 2016 it is $5,450,000) is their own Estate Tax Exclusion amount plus their deceased spouses DSUE amount. 

 

 

How much of the Marital Deduction Should be used?

 

While an unlimited amount can be passed estate tax free from the first spouse to the second when the first spouse dies, care must be taken because this can increase the taxable estate of the second spouse.  Where spouses own significant assets, advanced planning can be used to reduce the federal estate tax liability.  This is the case when an individual or couple owns more than the applicable Estate Tax Exclusion amount.

 

See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com

 

Please see my blog for more on Federal Estate Tax and advanced planning techniques.  Call me today and let’s get your Estate Plan together.

 

Thanks for reading my blog.

 

William Daniel Powell

619-980-2297

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

****************

This document is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice.  Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship.  If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information

Also, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog and my website. There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would be impractical to discuss all of them here.

****************

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