February 2018 Archives

Federal tax reform and estate planning

Minnesota residents should be aware of how the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will impact estate planning. One of the more significant aspects of the tax legislation is that it gives taxpayers the chance to transfer a substantial amount of money without being assessed estate, generation-skipping transfer or gift taxes.

Estate planning is important for small businesses

For many individuals in Minnesota, the benefits of estate planning on personal assets are clear. However, proper planning can be equally important to protect the ongoing longevity of a business. When a business owner passes away, it can be far too easy for a company to fail. This is especially true when the business is a small, closely-held operation.

How to estate plan after recent tax changes

The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the federal estate tax exemption to $11 million for individuals throughout Minnesota and the rest of the U.S. Married couples can combine their individual exemptions to protect up to $22 million in assets. Therefore, estate planning may no longer be about tax efficiency for some people. However, it is still a good idea for individuals to engage in estate planning to help create and preserve their legacies into the future.

Blended families and estate planning disputes

Some families in Minnesota might become embroiled in disputes over an estate plan if there are stepparents and stepchildren involved. According to one study, only about 20 percent of adult stepchildren say they are close to their stepmothers. Women also have longer life expectancies than men do, so it might be more likely for the dispute to involve stepmothers than stepfathers.

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