New York State Significantly Changes its Estate and Gift Tax Regimes | Wealth Planning content from WealthManagement.com

On March 31, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to implement the New York State fiscal plan for 2014 – 2015. The legislation makes broad changes to the New York State (NY) estate and gift tax laws, as well as some more technical changes to certain trust income tax rules. These broad changes may warrant the re-evaluation of estate plans currently in place.

read more here:  New York State Significantly Changes its Estate and Gift Tax Regimes | Wealth Planning content from WealthManagement.com.

Four Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Have – WSJ

There’s no time like the present to make sure all your estate-planning ducks are in a row.

For many people, the words “estate planning” may conjure up thoughts of large inheritances and tax shelters. But planning “isn’t just about death and taxes; it’s also about what happens if you get very sick and live,” says G. Mark Shalloway, a West Palm Beach, Fla., attorney who specializes in elder law.

Here’s are the four estate-planning documents everyone needs:

see the rest of the article at: Four Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Have – WSJ.

The 5 Biggest Tax Differences Between an LLC and Corporation

Among the many decisions you need to make when launching a business is selecting a business structure. If you do nothing, your business, by default, is structured as either a general partnership (multiple owners) or sole proprietorship (solo owner). These may be the simplest entities to form, but they offer one major drawback: There’s no separation between the business and business owner.

If your partnership or sole proprietorship business is sued or can’t pay its bills, your personal assets can be on the hook. That is why both the Limited Liability Company (LLC) and C Corporation, or just Corporation, are popular business structures, as they minimize the owner’s personal liability. Yet, they have vastly different approaches to taxation.

Here we’ll break down the five key differences between how an LLC and Corporation are taxed. While these pointers can be a great starting point, you should consult a tax advisor if you have any questions about how these differences apply to your particular situation:

read the rest of the article here: The 5 Biggest Tax Differences Between an LLC and Corporation.

BASICS: the 1031 exchange process

  1. Investment Property:  Both your “old” and “new” properties must qualify as investment property.
  2. 45 Day Identification Period: You have 45 days from the closing of your sale to identify the properties you are interested in buying.
  3. 180 Day Exchange Period: From the sale closing date, you have 180 days to close on the purchase of one or more properties from the 45-day list.
  4. Qualified Intermediary: The IRS mandates that you use a Qualified Intermediary to prepare the legal documents for your exchange. The Qualified Intermediary also holds the 1031 exchange money.
  5. Proper Title Holding: You must purchase and take title to your new property exactly as you held title to your old property.
  6. Reinvestment Requirement: To defer all of your capital gain tax, you must buy a property equal to or higher in value than the one you sold. You must also reinvest all of the cash proceeds from your sale.

the BASICS is a series of short and simple blog posts written by Steve Hollatz Esq. that gives a bullet-point list of key points to a subject matter.  this post is not intended as legal advice and reading this post does not create a lawyer / client relationship.  it is provided for information purposes only.  contact your lawyer for more information.

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It’s Another Closing, Another Cost – New York Times

JESSICA BACAL, a lawyer in Katonah, N.Y., represented a buyer last week who was closing on a $1 million-plus house with a $765,000 mortgage in Westchester County. In reality, though, the cost of the home was more like $1 million-plus-plus-plus, because at the closing, many more costs were added — taxes and fees that together are known as closing costs.

For this house, the buyer’s closing costs, including some prepaid interest and taxes, totaled almost $40,000. In fact, experts said, the total fees paid by both the buyer and seller can amount to as much as 7 percent of the sale price.

read the rest of the article at:  It’s Another Closing, Another Cost – New York Times.

Five ways to have a richer, fuller retirement

With a little effort, retirement could be a lot better for a large number of people, says certified financial planner Marc Freedman, the author of the new book Retiring for the Genius and CEO of Freedman Financial in Peabody, Mass.

What some retirees need to do is rethink their approach and create a new blueprint, he says. Freedman offers these five ways retirees can create a richer retirement:

read more here: Five ways to have a richer, fuller retirement.

NYC Building Demolition | Historic Preservation NYC

New York City is constantly being rebuilt.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, dozens of beautiful old buildings were demolished to make way for new development. It wasn’t until 1966, with the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act, that historic buildings could be protected by federal law.

Click through to see some of these vanished buildings, which include iconic hotels, businesses, and private homes.

via NYC Building Demolition | Historic Preservation NYC.

Online Resources for Income Tax Planning as Part of Estate Planning

The Internet provides a rich source of discussions and suggestions relative to the future of estate planning. It particularly makes available a number of constructive analyses of the direction of estate-planning practices after the enactment of The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), including the importance of focusing on related ordinary income and capital gains tax issues.

Income tax rates increased significantly after 2012, with the federal income tax brackets for 2013 topping at a marginal rate for incomes over $338,350 of 39.6 percent and a net capital gains rate of 20 percent. Thus, income tax planning for estates assumes even more significance.

see entire article at: Online Resources for Income Tax Planning as Part of Estate Planning | Technology content from WealthManagement.com.

Death of Formula-Based Estate Planning

Throughout a large majority of my 35-year career as a trusts and estates lawyer, formula-based estate planning for spouses was common. Spouses’ wills or revocable trust instruments would frequently provide that, at the death of the first of them to die, the smallest amount (or fractional share) that, if allowed as a marital deduction, would cause the predeceased spouse’s estate to incur no estate tax was to be distributed to the surviving spouse or to a trust qualifying for the marital deduction. The residue of the estate (or the remaining trust property) would pass in a non-marital deduction disposition (usually to a family trust for the concurrent benefit of the surviving spouse and descendants). Alternatively, it was appropriate in some estate-planning situations to provide that, at the death of the first spouse to die, the largest amount (or fractional share) that could pass in a non-marital deduction disposition without causing the predeceased spouse’s estate to incur estate tax was to be distributed to a family trust, and the residue (or remaining trust property) was to be distributed to the surviving spouse or to a trust qualifying for the marital deduction.

read the rest of the article here:  Death of Formula-Based Estate Planning | Estate Planning content from WealthManagement.com.

The Anatomy of a Great Construction Contract

A well-drafted construction contract clearly sets out the work to be done, the price to be paid for the work, and the terms and conditions of payment.

The contract should also designate various foreseeable risks between the parties. When the parties allocate a list of potential risks, the contract becomes longer, but it reduces the potential for disagreements in “gray areas” that are not addressed at all – assuming that both parties take the time to read and understand the lengthy, dryly-worded document.

You should be aware that all of the requirements of basic contract law must be met for a construction agreement to be valid. We will focus here on construction-specific applications of contract law.

read the entire article at:  The Anatomy of a Great Construction Contract « Ontario Home Builders.