Planning for Life

2 Reasons Surviving Spouses Should File Federal Estate Tax Returns: Portability and Capital Gains

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 29, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

real-estate-capital-gains-federal-estate-tax-planning-attorney-Wellesley-MA

With the threshold for federal estate taxes set at $11.58 million as of 2020 (it adjusts each year for inflation), very few estates have to file a federal estate tax return. In contrast, the Massachusetts threshold is $1 million, meaning that many more estates must file a Massachusetts return. For estates that fall between $1 million and $11.58 million, it can still make sense to file a federal return if the decedent left a surviving spouse.

This is for two reasons: portability and capital gains step up.

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Topics: capital gains taxes, Probate Estate Administration, estate taxes

Beware Your Old Bypass Trust

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 7, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Bypass-Trust-federal-estate-taxes-Wellesley-MA

Very few people need to worry about federal estate taxes today with the threshold for taxation now at $11.58 million (in 2020) and surviving spouses permitted to add on the unused portion of their deceased spouse's credit through "portability." Yet many people have estate tax planning trusts put in place when the threshold was much lower and before portability was enacted. As recently as 2003, the threshold was $1 million and before 1998, it was just $600,000.

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Topics: trusts, Estate Planning, capital gains taxes

5 Rules You Need to Know About the Tax on Capital Gains

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 22, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

There are many types of taxes out there: income, sales, real estate, estate, excise and capital gain. The tax you may be able to avoid or minimize most through planning is the tax on capital gains. Here's what you need to know to do such planning:

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Topics: income taxes, capital gains taxes

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