Do You Need to File a Gift Tax Return?

If you made gifts last year, you may (or may not) need to file a gift tax return Gifting assets to loved ones is one of the simplest ways of reducing your taxable estate. However, what may not be as simple is determining whether you need to file a gift tax return (Form 709). With … Continued

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Enhance Your Estate Plan with Life Insurance

Life insurance can be a powerful estate planning tool for nontaxable estates For years, life insurance has played a critical role in estate planning, providing a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. It’s been particularly valuable for business owners, whose families might not have the liquid assets they need to pay … Continued

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Asset Protection Strategies

Preserve wealth for yourself and your heirs using asset protection strategies There are many techniques you can use to protect your assets, from giving them to loved ones to placing them in offshore trusts. It’s important to understand that asset protection isn’t about evading legitimate debts, hiding assets or defrauding creditors. Rather, it’s about preserving your … Continued

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Using 529 Plans in your Estate Plan

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expands appeal of 529 plans in estate planning It’s common for grandparents to want to help ensure their grandchildren will get a high quality education. And, along the same lines, they also want the peace of mind that their wealth will be preserved for their children and grandchildren after they’re gone. … Continued

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How the New Tax Law Impacts You

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Key provisions affecting estate planning The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is a sweeping revision of the tax code that alters federal law affecting individuals, businesses and estates. Focusing specifically on estate tax law, the TCJA doesn’t repeal the federal gift and estate tax. It does, however, … Continued

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Charitable Giving – Will Your Charity Accept?

Will your favorite charity accept your donation? If your estate plan includes charitable donations, be sure to discuss any planned gifts with the intended recipients before you finalize your plan. This is particularly important for donations that place restrictions on the charity’s use of the gift, as well as donations of real estate or other … Continued

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Transfer on Death Deeds – What you need to know

One of the easiest ways to avoid probate is to transfer your house using a special type of deed recognized in Missouri and Kansas. This type of deed is known by various names: a beneficiary deed or transfer on death deed, but the effect is the same. It allows you to retain ownership of your … Continued

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Questions to Ask When Naming a Trustee

Appointing the right trustee for your living trust provides peace of mind A living trust is a cornerstone of many estate plans. During your life, you can serve as the trustee and manage the assets just as you would if you owned them outright. However, you must choose a trustee to oversee and administer the trust … Continued

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Remember Pluto in Your Plan – Pet Trusts

Address your pet in your estate plan using a pet trust If you’re an animal lover, a pet is a member of the family — sometimes even more so than flesh-and-blood. So you want to ensure that your beloved pet is cared for after you’re gone. One way to do so is to make provisions … Continued

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End of Year Gifts

Make the holidays bright for you and your loved ones with annual exclusion gifts As the holiday season quickly approaches, gift giving will be top of mind. While gifts of electronics, toys and clothes are nice, making tax-free gifts of cash using your annual exclusion is beneficial for both you and your family. Even in … Continued

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