You have spent a substantial portion of your life building or continuing a successful family business, and you have some children (or other family members) who are active in the business and others who are not. How do you handle an equitable distribution of your estate without adverse impact to family relationships and/or operation of the business? We find … Continue Reading
It is common that one of the largest assets in a family business owner’s estate is his or her interest in the family business. This situation can be problematic because the owner’s interest in the company is included in the value of the owner’s gross taxable estate. The estate is required to pay debts, expenses, and taxes based on the taxable estate figu… Continue Reading
With the advent of higher exemptions with respect to the Federal Gift, Estate, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax passed last December (referred to as the 2017 Tax Act), it really is necessary to review your estate tax planning and it would also be a good time to review your durable power of attorney in light of the recent adoption of the Washington Uniform … Continue Reading
We invite your review of the linked article from Bloomberg BNA’s Environmental Due Diligence Guide Report™. There are dangers
inherent in leaving your heirs real property that may have been contaminated at some time in the past, even if you and your business were not the source of the contamination. The costs and benefits of ownership of such propertie… Continue Reading
There are a number of estate planning strategies that work well to move assets in an efficient manner from one generation to another within a family. In evaluating any such strategy, one must consider the goals of the family, the underlying assets of the family and gift, estate, generation-skipping and income tax issues. In the current, historically low in… Continue Reading
In a positive development for closely-held business owners and their families, the Treasury Department recently recommended the complete withdrawal of its proposed tax regulations that would have severely limited the application of valuation discounts to transfers of partial interests in family businesses and other assets for gift, estate, and gen… Continue Reading
With proper planning, owning vacation property with other family members can be a pleasant and even bonding experience. The key is to determine, as early as possible, what the parties expect and desire from the property ownership and the most effective and efficient manner of ownership.
Often times, family members will inherit or receive as a gift vacatio… Continue Reading
Simple estate planning is pretty straightforward. There is usually a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, and Trust if necessary. But there is a niche practice within estate planning ripe with landmines waiting to detonate if one is not careful. This is estate planning for an enrolled Native American, and this niche of estate … Continue Reading
In many states, Living Trusts are a person’s key estate planning document. Living Trusts are created to hold assets during life and then dispose of those assets at death according to the person’s directions (here, we will call the person making the Living Trust the “Grantor.” Living Trusts thus operate much like a Will, but, unlike a Will, Livi… Continue Reading
On July 7th, DWT lawyers Matt Loftin and Keith Baldwin participated in a panel discussion in Olympia, Washington, sponsored by the Association of Washington Business (“AWB”). The topic was “Succession & Estate Planning Fundamentals for Business Owners,” and the panel was organized and led by Kristofer Gray, CFP, of Integrity Fin… Continue Reading
As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail, and you cannot plan for a family business if the future generations are not included in the planning discussions.
As promised, below is a follow-up to my February 29th post. There, I discussed estate tax planning. Below, I want to introduce generation skipping tax planning, using some similar tools.
As of 2016, each person has a $5.45 million exemption from the federal generation skipping transfer (“GST”) tax (separate from the $5.45 million federal estate/gif… Continue Reading
As of 2016, each person has an aggregate $5.45 million exemption from the federal gift and estate taxes. This exemption can be used either during lifetime or at death (or both, if not all of it is used for lifetime gifts). When determining how best to make use of this exemption, make sure you consider – among other things – the federal income tax basis of any p… Continue Reading
An estate plan can be a complicated thing. Attorneys, accountants, advisors all may be involved in pulling together a customized plan that conforms to your desires, complies with state and federal law and minimizes your tax obligations. But it is still a good idea to understand the basics. For example, there are (at least) four documents you should have in p… Continue Reading
Recent changes to the federal estate tax system now permit many more estates to avoid federal estate taxes altogether and also allow more effective income tax planning for children when they inherit at the time the survivor of Mom and Dad has died. Also, while many states no longer have estate taxes, the estate tax systems in both Washington and Oregon are t… Continue Reading
Frequently you may see comments attacking the estate tax, and particularly the Washington estate tax, as applied to estates with family businesses. As pointed out by Steve Parrish in his recent article in Forbes, the preservation of your family business, and transfer of it to your beneficiaries, has more to do with your ESTATE PLANNING, and a lot less t… Continue Reading
There is a good chance that someone you know, perhaps a friend, family member, or financial advisor, has told you that you need a “Living Trust” rather than a Will. Are they right? Living Trusts have become increasingly popular estate planning devices and, in the right circumstances, they offer some significant advantages over a Will. Yet while … Continue Reading
You have spent many weekends and summer vacations at your family cabin and now hold years of wonderful memories of these times. Although the kids are gone, they are now coming back with your grandkids for great vacations. You may want to leave this asset to your family to preserve it for their future years. Should you? And if wish to do so, what steps sho… Continue Reading