New Jersey lawmakers reached an agreement on Friday, September 30th which, among other things, will phase out New Jersey’s state estate tax. The New Jersey estate tax exemption, presently $675,000, will increase to $2 million after January 1, 2017. The estate tax will then be eliminated after January 1, 2018. An official vote on an estate.. read more →

When you sell a capital asset, the sale normally results in a capital gain or loss. A capital asset includes most property you own for personal use or own as an investment. Here are 10 facts that you should know about capital gains and losses: Capital Assets. Capital assets include property such as your home.. read more →

(On June 16, 2014, I was a speaker at the 71st Semi-Annual Tax & Estate Planning Forum presented by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. My topic was entitled “House Ownership Options When a Parent and Adult Child Live Together: Tax, Medicaid and Personal Issues.” I presented a PowerPoint  slide show and a.. read more →

A Chancery Court judge determined that the administrator of an insolvent estate in New Jersey must first exhaust all efforts to satisfy creditors from probate assets before the attachment of non-probate assets should be considered. Matter of the Estate of Turco, Chancery Div., Probate Part-Essex County (Koprowski, J.S.C., July 22, 2013) Jerry Turco died testate.. read more →

New York recognized the marriage of state residents Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer, who wed in Ontario, Canada, in 2007. When Spyer died in 2009, she left her entire estate to Windsor. Windsor sought to claim the federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses, but was barred from doing so by a federal law called.. read more →

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Revenue Procedure 2012-41 which set forth inflation-adjusted revenue items for 2013. Among other things, the IRS announced that the annual gift tax exclusion amount will increase in 2013 to $14,000 made by a taxpayer to any person who is not the taxpayer’s spouse. Married couples can combine their annual exclusion amounts.. read more →

Under existing federal law, spouses who pass away can leave property of any value to their surviving spouses free of federal estate taxes. This is called the “unlimited marital deduction.” However, under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law passed in 1996, marriage is defined as “only a legal union between one man.. read more →

Currently, the value of assets passing to heirs upon the death of a U.S. citizen free of federal estate taxes, called the federal estate tax exemption amount, is $5.12 million dollars per person. This federal estate tax exemption amount is valid through the end of 2012. In the past, upon the death of the first.. read more →

In this case, the decedent, William McLellan, created an irrevocable life insurance trust for the primary benefit of his wife and children in 2006. The life insurance trust was funded with a $2.5 million life insurance policy. Plaintiff, Lois Jean McLellan, the spouse of the decedent and mother of two of decedent’s four children, was.. read more →

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D/NV) has introduced legislation designed to enact the tax cut compromise that was reached last week between President Obama and Senate Republicans. Entitled the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” the present bill is structured as an amendment to current law enacted in 2001 under.. read more →

Contrary to the expectations of many practitioners including the writer, Congress did not amend the federal estate tax laws in 2009. As a result, the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001 (“EGTRA”), passed by President George W. Bush, controls. EGTRA makes substantial changes to the  federal estate tax laws in 2010 and thereafter… read more →

The tax law changes that became effective on January 1, 2010 and affect estate and elder law planning are as follows. These changes include the possible elimination of the stepped-up tax basis for assets in irrevocable trusts and life estates, the repeal of the federal estate tax and the allocation of basis increase by the.. read more →

An amendment to a military act gives spouses of military personnel new residency rights, creating income and estate tax planning opportunities for military families. Because military families move, on average, every three years, the families often have to pay taxes in a new state or locality and lose the right to vote in the place.. read more →

Did you know that, under New Jersey law, you are entitled to receive compensation for services rendered as a fiduciary, such as an Executor, Administrator, Trustee, Guardian, Agent under a Power of Attorney and Conservator? Well, you are. Any compensation paid to a fiduciary in New Jersey is called a “commission”.  The amount of any.. read more →

On December 3, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the “Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Business Act of 2009” (H.R.4154). If adopted by the Senate, the bill will freeze the estate and gift tax status quo as of this year. The House Bill eliminates the one-year repeal of the federal estate.. read more →

The gift tax annual exclusion is the maximum amount which a taxpayer can gift each year to any beneficiary without being required to use his or her $1 million lifetime gift exemption amount. If gifts are limited each year to the annual exclusion amount established in the year of the gift, the person making the.. read more →

Under the law passed by President Bush, the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001 (“EGTRA”), there is no estate tax in 2010, and estates pay only capital gains tax; then the estate tax returns with a $1 million exemption in 2011. President Obama wants to prevent this one year gap by making the.. read more →

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. As part of the Recovery Act, nearly 55 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a one-time payment of $250 each. To receive a payment, the beneficiary’s address of record.. read more →

President Bush’s tax cut law passed in 2001, called the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Pub.L. 107-16, 115 Stat. 38, June 7, 2001 (hereafter “EGTRRA”) gradually phased out the estate tax by raising the exemption level and reducing the top rate; in 2009, only estates valued at more than $3.5 million.. read more →

The Wall Street Journal recently reported here and here that the new administration has decided to permanently lock the estate tax in at the rate and exemption levels that took effect this year. That change in the law would exempt estates of $3.5 million — $7 million for couples — from any taxation. The value.. read more →

New Jersey allows a deduction of medical expenses, including long-term care insurance premiums, to the extent that they exceed 2% of adjusted gross income. N.J. Stat. Sec. 54A:3-3 New York, on the other hand, provides a tax credit of 10% of the premiums for long-term care policies approved by the Superintendent of Insurance pursuant to.. read more →

Every year the Internal Revenue Service publishes new rates and tables for a variety of tax exemptions. Here are the 2009 annual estate and gift tax exclusions, effective as of January 1, 2009. 1)  The Annual Gift Tax Exclusion is $13,000 in 2009. As a result of  the 2009 annual gift tax exclusion, any person.. read more →

The costs of nursing home care can be deducted on federal individual income tax returns as medical expenses under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 7702B because they are considered “qualified long-term care costs”.  However, the status of assisted living facility (ALF) costs has not been as clear. To assist readers, below we have summarized an.. read more →

Congress approved legislation that would allow retirees to defer withdrawals from their 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts in 2009 without triggering a penalty. President Bush is expected to sign the bill. Ordinarily, seniors age 70½ and older are required to withdraw a minimum amount from their tax-deferred retirement savings plans every year and pay.. read more →

The recently passed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (aka “the bailout bill”) temporarily raises the basic limit on federal deposit insurance coverage (FDIC) from $100,000 to $250,000 per depositor. The legislation provides that the basic deposit insurance limit will return to $100,000 after December 31, 2009. “This temporary increase in deposit insurance coverage should.. read more →