Many of us spend most of your lives working to accumulate wealth. However, no amount of success can prevent something as inevitable as death. Hence, many of us ask ourselves, “What’s the point of getting richer, if we’re all going to die in the end?” This is where estates and trust come in.

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Although we can no longer benefit from any of our savings once we die, our children and their children can. Estates are the net worth of a person during their life until death. The government allows the transfer of these estates through inheritance. Meanwhile, Trusts are properties in possession of a trustee given by a grantor for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Wealthy people often learn about these two early on their careers. One of the earliest things you need to master if you wish to protect your estates or trusts is taxes. This article by Sonja E. Pippin, CPA, Ph.D., discusses essential taxes that you need to consider when it comes to trusts and estates.

Trusts and estates: Uses and tax considerations

Time and again, CPAs and other accounting and tax professionals are faced with the unique income tax provisions related to trusts and estates. Aside from summarizing the general rules related to the income taxation of estates and trusts, this article highlights the impact of different legal authorities applicable to trusts. Further, it discusses issues related to some special trust and estate entities, namely, grantor trusts, pooled income funds, qualified subchapter S trusts (QSSTs), electing small business trusts (ESBTs), bankruptcy estates, and foreign trusts. Click here to read more…

Both estates and trusts can involve complex processes that may cause anxiety for people who are not familiar with them. This anxiety can cause us to act on impulses that may result in damages to the value of our estates and trusts. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid making such mistakes.

This article by Teri Saylor last April 2017 on the Journal of Accountancy talks about some easy steps to protect you from inheritance mistakes.

How to avoid inheritance mistakes

When a widow approached CPA Ryan Dumermuth to help guide her through some insurance policies her late husband had left her, he discovered the insurance company had taken the opportunity to sell her additional policies she didn’t need.

“The money involved in this exchange was significant, and I have been working with her to correct a costly mistake,” said Dumermuth, a partner with Rea & Associates, a CPA firm in New Philadelphia, Ohio. “It was an emotional time for my client. She trusted the insurance representative and acted too quickly.” Click here to read more…

Making sure that you follow the steps Saylor explained above can defend you and your descendants. Planning is also an important step in protecting your estate. However, there may be times that you may have failed to plan for your succession properly. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy such issues. In his July 2012 article on the Journal of Accountancy, Jerome A. Deener discussed ways one can fix problems due to incomplete tax planning.

New portability rules: A cure for incomplete estate planning

Many CPAs are involved in representing estates of decedents who died in 2011 and 2012. In dealing with such estates, it is crucial to focus on the new Code provisions allowing portability of the decedent’s unused lifetime gift and estate exclusion amount to the surviving spouse. A failure to do so can result in the loss of a significant estate and gift tax benefit for the surviving spouse that could easily be overlooked. This article focuses on the new portability election and the planning opportunities and pitfalls associated with making the election and the potential consequences of failing to do so. Click here to read more…

Estate and trust planning is one of the most important things that everybody should consider. Doing so will not only protect us financially but will also give us the peace of mind of having something to leave behind for our loved ones. AldarisCPA offers individual and family consulting services to anyone within and around Seattle. If you want to learn more, book a consultation with us through this link.