Articles Tagged with Inheritance Tax

8.15.18When the family vacation home is passed from one generation to the next, there are certain tax issues to be aware of, particularly the step-up in basis.  However, there may also be state taxes.

The first part of understanding the tax responsibility when you plan on giving it to your family vacation home to adult children who live out of state, is to understand the definition of “basis” and “step-up in basis.” These terms refer to income taxes and are used to determine any gains or losses on the sale of the property.

When you die, property that you own or control is valued as of the date of death. The children who inherit the property take it with that value as their basis. The first thing is to determine the parent’s basis in the property.  You should then look at how the basis of inherited property is handled. Generally, the basis of property inherited from a decedent is one of the following:

5.19.17Some states are cheaper to die in than others, that is, when it comes to death taxes.

The average American doesn’t have to worry too much about paying a federal estate tax, as the current federal estate tax exemption is a generous $5.49 million for 2017 and twice that if you are married. But that’s not the only death tax you and your heirs may encounter, depending on where you live or, more accurately, where you die.

MarketWatch’s article, “Here are the 20 most expensive places in America to die,” reminds us that about 20 states and DC have their own estate or inheritance taxes, or both. Some have exemption thresholds below the federal amount. Therefore, if you live in one of these states, you may be exempt from the federal estate tax, but still exposed to a significant state death tax bill.

Arm wrestling over moneyLong before America was officially involved in World War II, that is, before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, there were Americans involved in the war. One group was the "Flying Tigers," an elite group of fighter pilots employed by the Chinese government in its fight against Japan. Phillip Epley, Sr., was a member of this group, more formally known as the American Volunteer Group. When Epley passed away in 2008, he left his entire estate, including his Flying Tiger jacket and other belongings, to his wife.

When she passed away in 2013, a dispute began over ownership of the jacket that Epley wore during the war. It's estimated value? $24,000. Penn Live has more on this story and the history of the Flying Tigers in "Rare WWII 'Flying Tigers' flight jacket focus of Pa. court battle."

Most of the memorabilia went to Epley's son, Robert Epley. However, one of the wife's sons, John Stull, removed the jacket from her home. Her other son, Daryl Stull, was named the executor of his mother's estate and repeatedly asked John to return the jacket. John refused.

Clock facesSo how do you know if your estate plan is out-of-date?  If your will or trust predates these four key “freshness dates,” it may be time to visit your attorney for a review.

Estate plans are not meant to be a one-time deal. If life changes – or the law changes – you need to update your plan accordingly.

The website nextavenue.org recently posted a very informative article, titled “Why Your Will May Be Out of Date,” which states that although your estate planning documents are still valid, they may no longer work the way you originally thought they would.

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