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May 1, 2020 / Newsletters

Insight on Estate Planning, April/May 2020

Weinstock Manion is pleased to present the April/May 2020 issue of Insight on Estate Planning, our bi-monthly newsletter. We encourage you to read it for ways to implement your estate plan more effectively, including ways to minimize taxes on your estate so as to maximize its value for your loved ones. We realize that we cannot fully address these complex issues in a few short articles, so we invite you to contact us to discuss your specific needs.

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In this issue:

Beware of the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
Thanks to recent tax law changes, most families can avoid liability for federal estate and gift taxes. However, there’s a lesser-known tax whammy that can hit wealthy individuals without warning: the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. As its name implies, the GST tax generally applies to transfers that “skip” a generation. This article details the GST tax. A sidebar explains GST tax strategies.

To File or Not to File? A Gift Tax Return Doesn’t Always Have to be Filed
Now that fewer people are subject to federal gift taxes, because of a generous $11.58 million lifetime gift tax exemption for 2020, a question many are asking is: “Do I need to file a gift tax return?” The short answer is “no” if one’s wealth is well within the exemption amount. This article examines the scenarios where it’s necessary (and possibly advantageous) to file Form 709 – “United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.”

Letter of Instructions: Make Your Thoughts Crystal Clear to Your Family
Generally, every estate plan requires a will, but this main attraction may be complemented by other documents, like a letter of instructions. The letter, unlike a valid will, isn’t legally binding, but can be valuable to surviving family members. This article details what a letter of instruction should cover.

Estate Planning Pitfall: You Fail to Mention a Close Relative in Your Will
Typically, a person arranges to leave most of his or her assets to various family members, including a spouse and children. These dispositions are spelled out in a will. But what happens when one fails to mention a close relative in a will or wants to disinherit a loved one? This brief article explores potential outcomes of not clearly communicating your wishes in your will.

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