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Monthly Archives: January 2014

International Issues in Estate Planning: When Your Spouse Is Not a U.S. Citizen, Part II: The QDOT

The unlimited marital deduction allows a person to transfer any amount of funds to a spouse free from tax. However, if your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, your estate cannot use this marital deduction without a Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT). QDOTs were designed to stop noncitizen surviving spouses from leaving the country with a… Read More »

International Issues in Estate Planning: When Your Spouse Is Not a U.S. Citizen, Part I: General Estate Planning Considerations

When it comes to estate planning, one size doesn’t fit all, especially if your spouse is not a U.S. citizen. This is the first of two blog posts focusing on what you need to be aware of if your spouse is a noncitizen. If your estate is below the federal estate tax exclusion threshold ($5,250,000… Read More »

Understanding Estate Tax Thresholds

George Steinbrenner had great timing. He was born on the Fourth of July and died in 2010, a year that there was no estate tax in the country. If Steinbrenner had died in 2009 when the estate tax threshold was $3.5 million and the rate 45 percent, the billionaire’s heirs would have had to pay… Read More »

What Is Included In My Estate for Federal Estate Tax Purposes?

You may be struggling to pay your mortgage and may not remember the last time you could afford a nice vacation without realizing that, according to the government, you’re a millionaire. Most people are surprised by the value of their gross estate. Although the amount that is exempt from federal estate taxes is currently $5,250,000… Read More »