As the word goes, “nothing is for sure but death and taxes.” In the context of estate planning, this reality drives the estate planner’s wish to minimize taxes upon death whenever possible. The field of estate planning is consumed with the minimization of taxes in most of the company’s forms. Attorneys and advisers have clients jump through legal and financial hoops to avoid or delay the payment of taxes, whether estate, capital gains, gifts, income, etc. Clients must determine their assets will likely be taxed upon their death so that they can properly seek advice from their estate planning professionals. This article supplies a general introduction to estate taxes.
What Is Taxable?
Very generally, any property which a person owns at his passing is taxable including banking account, cash, securities, property, cars, etc. are includable as part of his gross estate. Contrary to popular belief, the death benefit of life plans someone owns is taxable unless properly structured. The joint property, including joint bank accounts, is 100% includable in the estate from the first joint property owner to die except to the extent that this other joint owner can show which he contributed towards the property. Business, corporate, and LLC interests are also includable inside gross estate as are general powers of appointment.
Deductions from your Gross Estate:
To determine the taxable estate, we should instead slow up the gross estate by the applicable deductions. The IRS allows the following deductions from the gross estate which lessen the gross estate:
1. Marital Deduction: One from the primary deductions for married decedents will be the Marital Deduction. Both jurisdictions allow for an infinite marital deduction so that assets passing outright with a citizen spouse will never be taxed with the death in the first spouse. There are often excellent financial, legal, and tax reasons to not leave everything on the surviving spouse as will probably be discussed inside the upcoming article coping with credit shelter/bypass trusts
2. Charitable Deduction: If the decedent leaves property to your qualifying charity, it can be deductible through the gross estate.
3. Mortgages and Debt associated with the properties.
4. Administration expenses in the estate including executor/administrator, accountant’s and attorney’s fees.
5. Losses during estate administration.
Not One, But Two:
Both New York State, as well as the government, impose separate estate taxes on decedents who pass away having a certain quantity assets. The government figures that death should be a taxable event because almost everything else in college in life was. New York State and the federal government tax estates at different levels and also at different rates. Uncle Sam does, however, give taxpayers a deduction for that amount they paid in state taxes.
Federal Estate Taxation:
The government currently taxes estates worth over $5.12 million at a rate of 35% in 2012. If Congress won’t act, the federal estate tax is scheduled to get 55% on gross estates well over $1 million in 2013 and beyond.
New York State Estate Taxation:
New York State … Read More