– How Will the New Tax Law Signed by President Trump Affect Your Estate Planning?

With respect to Estate Planning, some things change, and some things remain the same, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recently signed by President Trump.

Some Things Change

  • The Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax exemption amounts increase from $5 million to $10 million per individual, with additional inflation adjustments as under prior law.
  • The increased, inflation-adjusted exemption amounts – $11.2 million for an individual, or a combined $22.4 million for a married couple – are effective January 1, 2018.The Act also provides for future inflation adjustments for 2019 and beyond.
  • The increases are set to expire on December 31, 2025, at which time the Federal estate, gift and GST tax exemption amounts will revert to the current $5 million amounts, (as adjusted for inflation).

Some Things Remain the Same

  • The highest Gift and Estate tax rate is still 40%.
  • Beginning January 1, 2018, the annual gift tax exclusion is 15,000.
  • Unlimited gifts between US Spouses
  • There are still gift tax exclusions for qualified direct payments of tuition and medical expenses.
  • Stepped-up basis for property passing at death remains.

Amanda and I would be happy to meet with you to explore how these changes impact your estate plan.


– Michigan’s New Qualified Dispositions In Trust Act Makes Asset Protection Easier

Episode Video

Episode Podcast

Tom discusses Michigan’s new Qualified Dispositions in Trust Act that makes it easier to create a trust to protect your assets from your creditors. Find out how simple it can now be to protect what you own from risks of lawsuits and creditors.

New Tax Benefit of Charitable Contribution From Your IRA

The recently passed Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 made Charitable IRA rollover legislation permanent for 2015 and future years.

With the Charitable Rollover IRA, you can make a contribution to a public charity directly from your IRA (or Roth IRA). To qualify:

  • you must be at least age 70 ½ on the date of the contribution
  • the contribution may not exceed $100,000
  • the contribution has to be made directly by the IRA custodian to the charity.

To take advantage, simply direct the custodian of your IRA to make the charitable contribution. The portion of the IRA so contributed (up to $100,000) never comes into your income.

Please note, a 401k or other retirement plan is not eligible unless it is first rolled into an IRA.

A Tax-Smart Strategy for Managing Retirement Withdrawals

Here is a link to a  Morningstar interview of Vanguard retirement expert Maria Bruno in which she discusses strategies for managing retirement withdrawals to minimize tax consequences. Maria explains which accounts (i.e. taxable investments, IRAs, 401ks, Roth IRAs) should be used before others in order to minimize your taxes.