Federal estate taxes were created in 1916, taxing estates valued at over $5 million. This amount changed to $50 million in 1932. In 1940, it dropped to $10 million, then $5, then $3. In 2002-2007 estates worth more than $2 million paid the tax.
For many parents, transferring real estate to their children is an important part of their estate planning process. There are several ways that parents can do this, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
An education savings account called a 529 plan is just one of several tools families can use to prepare for the growing costs of higher education. These plans can be beneficial for almost anyone since they let funds saved for education compound on a tax-free basis provided they're used for eligible education expenses. Individuals who live in states with special tax breaks for contributions tend to fare the best.
A study by the financial services research firm reveals just how big a problem family secrets can be, as reported in Financial Advisor’s recent article “Family Wealth Transfers Undermined by Secrecy.” Most asset holders plan to share their wishes and intentions with family members before they die. However, the research reveals only about half actually…