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gift tax

To file or not to file a gift tax return, that is the question

If you’re giving gifts this year you may be wondering if you need to file a gift tax return. In fact, there are situations when it’s necessary (or desirable) to file even if you’re not liable for any gift tax.

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Plan carefully to avoid GST tax surprises

Designed to ensure that wealth is taxed at each generational level, the GST tax is among the harshest and most complex in the tax code. If you want to share some of your wealth with your grandchildren, it’s critical to plan ahead.

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An estate planning “road map” can act as a catchall for your final thoughts

No matter how much effort you’ve invested in crafting an estate plan, your will, trusts and other official documents may not be enough. Consider also drafting a “road map” to guide your family in executing your plan.

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Avoiding challenges to your estate plan

A primary goal of estate planning is to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. It’s important to design your estate plan to withstand potential will contests or other challenges down the road.

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Addressing adopted children or stepchildren in your estate plan

To ensure your desired treatment of adopted children or unadopted stepchildren, you and your spouse or partner must clearly communicate your plans through wills, trusts and other estate planning documents.

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When should you turn down an inheritance?

If you expect to receive an inheritance from a family member, you might want to use a qualified disclaimer to refuse the bequest, saving gift and estate tax while redirecting funds appropriately.

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The GST tax and your estate plan: What you need to know

The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax is among the harshest and most complex in the tax code. So, if you’re planning to share some of your wealth with your grandchildren or great grandchildren — or if your estate plan is likely to benefit these generations — it’s critical to consider and plan for the GST tax.

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A Living Will Can Help Ensure Your Last Medical Wishes are Carried Out

The terms “last will and testament” and “living will” may sound similar, but, in fact, they’re not at all similar. The latter is an important estate planning document that details your medical wishes should you become incapacitated.

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The HSA: A healthy supplement to your wealth-building regimen

In addition to helping to reduce health care costs, a Health Savings Account can positively affect an estate plan because its funds grow on a tax-deferred basis, potentially building wealth for heirs.

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Opening up to SLAT opportunities

Estate tax planning can become complicated when multiple parties are involved. For example, you have a spouse from a second marriage and children from your first marriage. Spousal lifetime access trusts, or SLATs, are designed to benefit your children or other heirs, while paying income to your spouse during his or her lifetime.

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