Category Archives: Taxes

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The Medicare Tax is Coming!

The Supreme Court recently held that the Affordable Care Act (the new health care law) is constitutional. One of the more controversial provisions of the law, but which is not well known, is that a new 3.8% investment income surtax … Continue reading

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How to Fix the Home Transfer Tax Trap!

In my last blog, I talked about the Home Transfer Tax Trap. Sometimes, when people try to save their homes from Medi-Cal estate recovery claims, they just make matters worse, because they do not think through the estate tax and … Continue reading

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Don’t Fall Into the Home Transfer Tax Trap!

I like to tell my clients that Medi-Cal planning is lot like playing chess. It’s easy to understand how all the little pieces are supposed to move, but there are literally billions of ways to play the first few moves … Continue reading

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Beneficiary Designation Forms: Common Mistakes

You have a Living Trust and have correctly funded your cash and money market accounts, home and other real estate, and personal affects to the Trust. But, what about those assets that transfer by contract, not by trust, such as … Continue reading

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Is it Time to Take Advantage of the New $5 Million Lifetime Gift Exemption?

Last December, Congress “reunified” the federal transfer tax system. The three principal transfer taxes, the estate tax, the gift tax and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax, are unified. They all have top rates of 35% with $5 million lifetime individual … Continue reading

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Your IRA and the New Estate Tax Law

Under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, the estate tax exempt amount will be $5 million only in 2011 and 2012. Then it reverses to only $1 million beginning in 2013. Also, for 2011 … Continue reading

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Taxable Gifts in 2010 and 2011 – Now What?

During 2010, most estate planning lawyers were advising their wealthy clients to take advantage of a special “opportunity” to deliberately make taxable gifts. Last year, both the gift tax and the estate tax were automatically scheduled to increase to 55% … Continue reading

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Should My Family LLC Hold Formal Meetings?

Corporations are generally required to hold annual directors’ and shareholders’ meetings. However, the law does not require similar meetings for Limited Liability Companies, Trusts, and Limited Partnerships. But a bona fide family Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or family Limited Liability Company … Continue reading

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The New Estate Tax Law

The new estate tax law is good news. Here’s what I think are the highlights: Individuals can pass up to $5 million to their heirs free of the estate tax. Surviving spouses will be able to use any unused exemption … Continue reading

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The “Gift” of Health Insurance

Many of our clients want to help their children financially, but for various reasons, they are reluctant to make gifts of large amounts of cash. We help our clients achieve this goal with the use of various techniques, such as: … Continue reading

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