December 29, 2016

Understanding Gift-Tax Exclusions

What are gift-tax exclusions? According to the IRS, a gift must be given with no expectation of receiving anything of equal value in return. Gifts can be cash, property, interest-free loans, payments made to a third party (like a school or hospital) on behalf of the recipient, below-market rate sales, and other types of property transfers. Generally, gifts that meet the following requirements are not taxable: Gifts that are less than the annual exclusion amount for the year ($14,000 in 2016 and 2017) Tuition or medical expenses Gifts to your spouse Gifts to qualified charities and certain political organizations For more information about gifting and end-of-year tax issues, please contact a qualified tax professional. Tip courtesy of IRS.gov
August 3, 2016

5 Estate Questions to Ask About Real Estate

Preparing your estate in advance is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family. Many estates include real estate in the form of a primary home, vacation home, and other family properties. While inheriting a property can be a wonderful legacy, it also comes with obligations that heirs may be unprepared or unable to fulfill. If you intend to leave real estate to your heirs, ask yourself these five questions to help avoid creating problems for your loved ones. 5 Estate Questions Will the Property Have a Mortgage? If the property comes with a mortgage or home equity loan, your heirs will need to negotiate with the lender to satisfy the terms of the loan. In many cases, they may need to sell the property to pay off any loans if financial provisions aren’t made elsewhere in the estate. Life insurance is one option for giving loved ones the cash needed to satisfy final debts. What Are the Tax Considerations? If you leave a large estate, your heirs might end up owing state and federal estate taxes on their inheritance. Make sure that your heirs have the financial resources they will need to satisfy the tax bill. If […]