While estate accounts and living trusts both have to do with a person’s assets, they are two entirely separate entities used for vastly different purposes. A living trust is a tool that allows a person to transfer their assets into it, which is then managed for the benefit of someone else, commonly referred to as the beneficiary. An estate account is what an executor uses to pay taxes, debts, and any other final obligations after the original owner passes away.
Often, you will find that you’ve become a trustee or an executor of an estate without preparation or during a stressful life event, like the death of a loved one.
We’re here to help you understand how the tax law applies to your situation and give you peace of mind as you handle the affairs of the estate or trust. Our intention is not only to prepare these tax filings, but to give you confidence in your role as executor or personal representative.
Let us help you plan your family’s future. Estate planning assists in limiting the amount of inheritance tax that the heirs of your estate may have to pay. You may be surprised at how much your assets are worth in total. This all contributes to the beneficiary’s tax liabilities and it would be unfair to leave bills of this magnitude to pay. We will work hand in hand with you, from working out the inherited tax liability to setting up trusts.
If you are the trustee or administrator of a trust, a trust income tax return will need to be prepared every year and filed under IRS Form 1041. Each trust’s beneficiary receives an associated Schedule K-1. Each beneficiary will need a Schedule K-1 for preparing their own personal 1040 income tax return. We will work with you to prepare these items.
If you have gifted more than the annual gift-tax-free amount, currently $15,000 in 2020, to someone during a given tax year, you are required to file a Gift Tax Return. The annual gift tax exclusion can be given to as many individuals one desires without triggering the gift tax.
It is important to note that gifts in the following categories do not count towards the annual exclusion amount: charitable, spouse, political organization, educational expenses and medical expenses. In addition, you currently have a $11.58 (as of 2020) million lifetime tax-free gift limit. A Gift Tax Return is filed under IRS Form 709 and is due April 15th of the following year. Gift tax rates can be as high as 35%.
If you have questions on gifting and estate planning, please contact us for a personalized analysis.