Estate Planning for Families With Special Needs
Disabilities affect families in all socio-economic strata. Everyone knows someone who is challenged by a disabling condition — whether it is a physical, mental or intellectual disability that is no one’s fault (such as Down Syndrome or Autism), or one that is caused by the actions or inactions of third parties (such as in a personal injury scenario). Addressing the “special needs” that result from such disabilities can be a tremendous challenge. Families trying to secure the future of loved ones with disabilities are becoming fierce advocates for them, as they assemble teams of allied professionals with specific expertise designed… Read more
Highlights of the Health Care Reform Legislation
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (H.R. 3590) (the “Patient Protection Act”) and on March 30, 2010, President Obama signed the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010” (H.R. 4872) (the “Reconciliation Act”) into law. The Reconciliation Act incorporated modifications to the Patient Protection Act that were approved by both the House and the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the health care reform legislation would provide coverage to 97% of Americans at a cost of $940 billion over the next decade. Due to higher taxes and fees, and Medicare… Read more
News You Can Use
UNDERSTANDING TAX CONCEPTS: DEDUCTION vs. CREDIT We often hear the terms “tax deduction” and “tax credit” thrown out as benefits to taxpayers. While they are both valuable benefits, they are not exactly the same thing. A “tax deduction” permits a taxpayer to subtract a certain amount from his taxable income. His applicable tax rate is then applied to his modified taxable income to determine his tax liability. A “tax credit” is an amount subtracted from an individual’s tax liability once it has already been determined. Therefore, each dollar of “tax credit” is a dollar for dollar reduction of tax liability,… Read more
Estate Tax: Dead or Alive?
Much has been written about the failure of Congress to address the scheduled “repeal” of the estate and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) taxes before 2010, causing considerable consternation on professional estate planners and their clients. We need not repeat the details, but a summary of how this came about is important. Under 2001 legislation, the exemption for federal estate and GST taxation increased to $3,500,000 in 2009 and will drop to $1,000,000 in 2011. Under that same legislation, the tax rate for estate and GST taxation decreased to 45% in 2009 and will increase to a 55% maximum rate in 2011…. Read more