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Estate & Gift Planning

Hough & Company Office

A little planning can save thousands of dollars! You can't take it with you, but failing to plan for your estate can mean that the government, rather than your heirs, may get the major portion of your hard-earned money. Why? Because the top estate tax rate is a whopping 55%! You may be aware of the lifetime exclusion for gifts and estates, which has been increased to $5,000,000 as a result of the fiscal cliff legislation just passed at the end of 2012. The estate tax top rate has been set at 40%. You should contact us to discuss your estate filing even if your gross estate is below the limitation for filing form 706. In addition, there are some very effective estate planning ideas that can also cut your current income tax bill.

Some planning possibilities: Current tax law allows you to give away $13,000 per year per recipient. Your spouse may join in the gift even if he or she is not an owner in the transferred asset. This means that you could transfer up to $26,000 per year to each of your heirs. To double the annual exclusion yet again, you may want to include spouses of your children. The person receiving the gift does not need to be related to you. These annual gifts do not reduce your once-in-a-lifetime exclusion. If you have property, which is not needed for your retirement, maybe it is a candidate for transferring during your lifetime. If it is a large income-producer, the future income will be taxed to the new owner and not to you, and the property will be out of your estate. You can make unlimited transfers to your spouse either during your lifetime or through your estate. There are no taxes on spousal transfers, regardless of size. However, leaving everything to your spouse may not be a good idea, since doing so fails to utilize the lifetime exclusion amount in the estate of the first spouse to die. Planning will allow you to use the exclusion in both estates, and you'll be able to transfer twice as much to your heirs free of estate tax. With proper planning, certain life insurance proceeds can be kept out of your estate.

How much do you need for retirement? What property, if any, should one consider parting with during his or her lifetime? Estate and gift planning is a very personal process. Each family plan is unique. Effective planning should involve you, your accountant, your attorney, and in many cases, an insurance agent and trust officer.


 
 
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We can help you with...

    • Services

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      • Estate & gift tax preparation

      • Estate & financial planning

      • Eldercare services

      • IRS representation for audits

      • IRS offer in compromises

      • IRS penalty settlement

      • Retirement planning

Get in Touch

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Address: 248 Nokomis Ave. S, Venice FL. 34285
Telephone: (941) 488-7768
FAX: (941) 484-3975
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