Estate and Trust
Estate Tax Planning & Preparation Services
A complete estate plan should include an analysis of your will, insurance policies, retirement plans, current and projected family needs, charitable giving goals and business succession plans. When you meet with our team to discuss your estate planning goals, we will follow a few steps to ensure that we provide the highest level of client service.
- We'll review your estate planning objectives and analyze present and future assets, liabilities, income and expenses.
- We'll discuss your family's current and future needs and your charitable giving goals.
- We'll consider tax and probate ramifications, including calculations of projected federal and state estate taxes, generation-skipping transfer taxes and gift taxes.
- Together with your team of advisers, we'll work to prepare a complete estate plan for your consideration that minimizes estate taxes while meeting your needs and accomplishing your goals.
Our estate administration services include working with you as executor or with you and your attorney to assist you during the estate administration process. Our services include valuation of estate assets and liabilities, recording of estate transactions, preparation and reporting of financial data to beneficiaries and preparation of federal and state estate and fiduciary income tax returns, as well as the final 1040.
During the estate administration process we'll work with you and your investment managers, certified appraisers and other professionals to determine asset values at date of death and alternate valuation time, and to provide documentation to the heirs and taxing authorities.
A lifetime gifting strategy will help diminish your estate while providing assistance to your family now and should be a part of the overall estate planning process. Estate and gift planning can be a huge task. You'll want to work with professionals with the highest level of expertise to ensure compliance with the law and minimization of tax consequences. Our team understands the challenges and opportunities of proper estate and gift planning, and will assist you with your annual and lifetime gift planning and reporting.
Annual Gift Exclusion
In 2010, you may gift up to $13,000 to any number of people without incurring federal gift tax. A married couple can gift up to $26,000 to the same person without making a taxable gift. (However, a tax return may be required to report the "split" gift, so such gifts should always be discussed with your tax preparer.)
Spouses may make unlimited lifetime gifts to each other. In addition, gifts to qualified charities and gifts of tuition or medical expenses that you pay directly to the qualified institution are not taxable.
Charitable Gift Planning
Many families wish to consider a plan that accomplishes both their charitable giving goals and their tax objectives. We can work with you to devise different giving options and to consider the tax ramifications of the different scenarios you choose.
A trust is a legal entity that owns assets transferred by a grantor and managed by a trustee for the benefit of another party. If you wish to place property in trust, we can discuss the short- and long-term estate, gift and income tax ramifications of your decision. In addition, we will review existing trusts to help you consider whether your estate planning goals are being met. When you meet with our team to discuss your trust needs, we'll:
- Review the trust document - this includes consideration of trust distribution requirements and whether the estate planning goals are being accomplished.
- Coordinate with the grantor or beneficiary, attorney and investment manager, if necessary.
- Calculate net income of the trust and allocate net income to beneficiaries of the trust according to trust requirements.
- Prepare the annual federal and state fiduciary income tax returns.
- Serve as trustee, when needed.