Estate and business succession planning is one of the most unique and significant issues facing closely held businesses. However, most entrepreneurs and their advisors fail to appropriately plan for estate taxes and business succession. Failure to address this contingency can devastate even the most stable closely held business. Fortunately, with planning, much of the estate tax burden can be reduced or even eliminated.
We have extensive experience planning estates for wealthy individuals and business owners. We utilize a comprehensive process with over 50 tools to create the ideal plan for you.
We are well versed in the recent estate and gift tax legislation. This new legislation impacts estates of all sizes. We will review current business succession and estate plans to ensure that maximum benefit is obtained. The new law provides new opportunities; however, failure to appropriately plan for these changes can greatly reduce their benefit. Our Family Wealth Planning services include:
A gift tax is a tax imposed on the gratuitous transfer of ownership of property. When a taxable gift in the form of cash, stocks, real estate, or other tangible or intangible property is made the tax is usually imposed on the donor (the giver) unless there is a retention of an interest which delays completion of the gift. A transfer is completely gratuitous where the donor receives nothing of value in exchange for the gifted property. A transfer is gratuitous in part where the donor receives some value but the value of the property received by the donor is substantially less than the value of the property given by the donor. In this case, the amount of the gift is the difference.
In the United States, the gift tax is governed by Chapter 12, Subtitle B of the Internal Revenue Code. The tax is imposed by section 2501 of the Code.
Generally, if an interest in property is transferred during the giver's lifetime (often called an inter vivos gift) then the gift or transfer would not be subject to the estate tax. In 1976, Congress unified the gift and estate taxes limiting the giver's ability to circumvent the estate tax by gifting during his or her lifetime. Notwithstanding, there remain differences between estate and gift taxes such as the effective tax rate, the amount of the credit available against tax, and the basis of the received property. There are also types of gifts which will be included in a person's estate such as certain gifts made within the three year window before death and gifts in which the donor retains an interest, such as gifts of remainder interests that are not either qualified remainder trusts or charitable remainder trusts. The remainder interest gift tax rules apply the gift tax on the entire value of the trust by assigning a zero value to the interest retained by the donor.