Latest from Tax & Wealth Advisor Blog

The IRS has reminded taxpayers who filed an extension that the October 15, 2020 due date to file their 2019 tax return is near. Taxpayers should file their tax returns on or before the October 15, 2020 deadline. Moreover, taxpayers with tax due should pay as soon as possible to reduce any penalties and interest. However, certain taxpayers may have more time to file and pay. Taxpayers with more time to file or pay include…
Various estate planning documents require you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. These appointees are your “fiduciaries” and include your personal representative, guardian for minor children, trustee, attorney-in-fact, and health care agent. Often times, people name certain individuals for these roles without much consideration, or they may consider the wrong criteria. Below is a general description of each fiduciary role and a few suggestions on what to consider when deciding who to appoint…
With the economy still struggling, one bright spot remains for those who are willing to make an investment of time and money in estate planning. The combination of lowered asset values, reduced interest rates, and historically high estate and gift tax exemptions present a unique opportunity to implement estate planning techniques that will yield significant tax savings. But those looking to take advantage of this unique opportunity should act now, because a rebound in asset…
Some of your most significant assets, like your life insurance and retirement accounts, ask you to make beneficiary designations. If you make valid beneficiary designations on these assets, then upon your death they will pass directly to your named beneficiaries without being subject to the probate process. Click here to view our article on probate and why you might want to avoid it. Many people overlook the importance of beneficiary designations and neglect to name…
Probate is the legal process during which a court oversees the collection and transfer of a person’s assets upon his or her death. In general, the probate process includes filing a will, appointing a personal representative, inventorying the decedent’s assets, paying the decedent’s debts, filing taxes, and distributing the balance of the estate according to the decedent’s will. If the decedent did not leave a will, then the decedent’s property is distributed according to Wisconsin’s…
(Part II) Objectives of the Succession Plan In our last article we discussed why a well-constructed succession plan is necessary. In this article, we review the essential objectives the plan needs to address. The objectives of succession planning and the methods used to accomplish these objectives are varied, but include the following: MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF THE BUSINESS. During the owner’s tenure at the company, the owner must develop a strong management team involving those…
The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that estimated tax payments for tax year 2020, originally due April 15 and June 15, are now due July 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due has until July 15 to make that payment without penalty. This relief applies to federal income tax returns and tax payments (including tax on self-employment income) otherwise due April 15, 2020.…
A proper estate plan covers not only what should happen upon your death, but also what should happen if you lose your decision-making skills. While planning for incapacity may be as unpleasant as planning for death, it is an important step in the estate planning process. Planning for incapacity ensures that someone you specifically choose and trust can act on your behalf while you are unable to do so for yourself. One key document to…
Many closely held businesses involve family members. The owner of such a business may wish to sell the business to some third party on or prior to death, or, more likely, may desire to transfer the business to the owner’s children. Although some business owners may believe little or no planning is required for this type of transaction to take place, the opposite is true. To successfully transfer a family business to the next generation,…
Do you want to leave your children with an inheritance, but are worried about creditors taking part of that inheritance? If so, you are not alone. Fortunately, a properly established protective trust can help safeguard the money you leave behind for your children from their creditors, including in a divorce. Creditors can more easily reach your children’s inheritances if it is given to them directly, outside of a trust. However, creditors would have more hurdles…