Latest Blog Posts

Five Changes Proposed in President Obama’s 2016 Budget That Could Affect Your Estate Plan

Posted on: August 27th, 2015
The Obama administration recently released its budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year. As in past years, this budget proposes changes to the laws governing federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes. Several of these changes would raise revenue by limiting the tax benefits achieved by using certain estate planning techniques, while others would decrease exemptions and increase rates. In addition, the fifth proposal discussed below is a brand new one that has raised some eyebrows:...

Skyrocketing Probate Fees – Another Reason to Avoid Probate Court

Posted on: August 21st, 2015
As of July 1, 2015, Connecticut probate courts earned the dubious distinction of charging the highest probate fees in the U.S. Amazingly, the Connecticut legislature voted to completely cut general fund support for the state's probate courts for the next two fiscal years, thereby creating a $32 million deficit. In order to cover the shortfall, the fees charged for settling a deceased person's estate in Connecticut were significantly increased and the $12,500 cap on probate fees was eliminated. To make matters worse, these changes apply retroactively to all deaths dating back to January 1, 2015. As a result, it is estimated that a handful of Connecticut estates will owe in excess of $1 million in probate fees and at least a dozen will owe in excess of $100,000....

What You Need to Know About the Final Estate Tax Portability Rules

Posted on: August 13th, 2015
Recently the IRS issued the final rules governing the "portability election" as it relates to the federal estate tax exemption. Married couples need to understand how these final rules may affect their existing estate plans, while recent widows and widowers need to understand how these finals rules may affect their deceased spouse's estate....

5 Reasons Why Uncle Bill May Not Make a Good Trustee

Posted on: August 5th, 2015
If you have created a dynasty trust that you intend to last for decades into the future, choosing the right trustee is critical to the trust's longevity and ultimate success. Initially you may think that a family member, like your children's fiscally responsible Uncle Bill, will be the best choice as trustee, however there are five reasons why Uncle Bill may not be the best choice....

How Will the 2015 Supreme Court Decisions Affect You and Your Family?

Posted on: July 22nd, 2015
While approximately 10,000 cases are appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court each year, only 75 to 80 make it to oral argument. Of those cases, only a handful grab the media's attention. Here is a summary of three landmark decisions handed down in 2015 that could affect how you are taxed, pay for healthcare, and plan your estate....

IRS Announcement: Estate Tax Closing Letters Will Now Only Be Issued Upon Request

Posted on: July 16th, 2015
​Due to the increased volume of federal estate tax return filings in order to make the "portability election," the IRS has announced that estate tax closing letters will only be issued upon request by the taxpayer. This change in IRS policy started on June 1, 2015....
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