How to Calculate Estate Tax

In order to predict how much your estate will have to pay in taxes, one must first determine the value of the estate. To determine this, many assets might have to be appraised at fair market value. The estate includes all assets including real estate, cash, securities, stocks, bonds, business interests, loans receivable, furnishings,...
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What is a tax basis and how will it affect my estate plan?

A tax basis is essentially the purchase price of a piece of property. Whenever that property is sold, the seller must pay taxes on the difference between the sale price and the original purchase price. This concept applies to all property, including stocks, bonds, vehicles, mechanical equipment, and real estate. If debts are assumed...
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Protecting Your Legacy with Estate Tax Planning

You spend your whole life building your legacy but sadly, that is not always enough. Without careful estate tax planning, much of it could be lost to taxes or misdirected. While a will or living trust is essential for dividing your estate as you wish, an estate tax plan ensures you pass on as...

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8 Reasons Young People Should Write a Last Will and Testament

Imagine if writing a last will and testament were a pre-requisite to graduating from high school.  The graduate walks across the stage, hands the completed will to the principal, and gets the diploma in return.   It might sound strange because most 18 year olds have little in terms of assets but it’s a good...
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Think Treasure Hunts are Fun and Games? Think Again

You’ve had an attorney draft your estate planning documents, including your living trust and will. Probate avoidance and tax saving strategies have been implemented. Your documents are signed, notarized and witnessed in accordance with all applicable laws, and are stored in a location known to your chosen executor or estate administrator. Your work is...
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Removal of a Trustee

In creating a trust, the trustmaker must name a trustee who has the legal obligation to administer it in accordance with the trustmaker’s wishes and intentions. In some cases, after the passing of the trustmaker, loved ones or beneficiaries may want to remove the designated trustee.

The process to remove a trustee largely depends on...

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Year End Gifts

Year End Gifts If you’re like most people, you want to make sure you and your loved ones pay the least amount of tax possible. Many use year-end gift giving as a way to transfer wealth to younger generations and also reduce the overall potential estate tax that will be due upon their death. Below...
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UPDATE – MINNESOTA GIFT TAX ELIMINATED – March 24, 2014

Minnesota Tax Law Changes Eliminate Gift Tax - More Details to Follow.  (3/24/2014) On May 20, 2013, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Omnibus Tax Bill, which made significant changes to Minnesota estate and gift tax law. One major change under the Bill is the imposition of a Minnesota-specific Gift Tax that went into effect on July 1, 2013.  This...
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Lessons can be Learned from James Gandolfini’s Estate Planning

Discussions of the substantial estate taxes likely owed by James Gandolfini's estate provide a glimpse into how even successful celebrities may not take full advantage of the estate tax planning strategies available to them.  Mr. Gandolfini's Will apparently divided his estate amongst several family members, including his wife, children and other loved ones. By dividing his...
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Minnesota Gift Tax – Update

MINNESOTA IMPOSES GIFT TAX On May 20, 2013, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Omnibus Tax Bill, which includes significant changes to Minnesota tax law.  One major change under the Bill is the imposition of a Minnesota-specific Gift Tax effective July 1, 2013.  This new Gift Tax may have wide-ranging impact on Minnesota taxpayers.  If you have been considering making a...
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