California Estate Planning Blog by Kevin Staker

April 21, 2017

The Future of the Gift Tax by Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 8:17 pm
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Allyson Versprille in an article at bna.com, Gift Tax Tweaks Could Lead to Unsavory Avoidance Tactics, speaks of the reasons for or against repeal of the Federal Gift Tax if the estate tax is repealed as part of the Republican’s tax reform effort in 2017.

Some of her points are as follows:

Changes to the gift tax could create unintended consequences or make it easier to avoid income or other taxes using new and existing techniques. Republicans’ proposals vary—from ignoring the gift tax, retaining it as is, or repealing it altogether. Some of the impacts are as follows:

Repealing both the estate and gift taxes—with no other changes—could impact the most. Many think if the estate tax is repealed, the gift tax should be as well. But there are several reasons not to do it.

First, the gift tax backstops the federal income tax. Without a gift tax, an individual could give property to another, such as a child, probably resulting its income being taxed at a lower rate, even if sold.

Second, there would be more gaming the system.  People would give away assets, but not really giving them away until death.  For example, instead of giving a child $1,000,000 it could be a loan with the note given to the child at death. Neither the House GOP’s tax blueprint nor President Trump’s campaign proposal mention the gift tax. However, Trump has proposed replacing the estate tax with a capital gains tax on estates over $10 million.   This would include an exemption for small businesses and family farms.  (Oh, the planning possibilities start to dance in my head already.) If this change is made, it would make sense a gift would also trigger a capital gains tax.

However, how this would affect trusts set up for generations makes my head hurt. Repealing both the estate tax and the gift tax could accelerate gift-giving if it appears the estate tax is about to be reinstated. On the other hand, if estate tax repeal appears it will be permanent, Congress keeps the gift tax is retained and the “step up in basis” at death, the wealthy may not make gifts. In this case, the wealthy would hold onto their assets until death, get the step up in basis, and then allow the asset to go to the next generation with an estate tax .

Note: estate tax repeal will likely only be temporary for 10 years.  This happens because of “reconciliation”.  The bottom line is only 51 votes needed in the Senate as compared to 60 if will be permanent (needed to avoid a filibuster in the Senate).

February 10, 2017

Top Four Estate Disputes of 2016 by Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 5:11 pm
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Top Four Estate Disputes of 2016 by Kevin Staker

Several famous people left behind a mess in their estate planning, or better put, lack of estate planning.

Tom Clancy

The famous author died in 2013 but the fight over his estate, estimated at $80 million, came to a head in 2016.   The issue was who should pay the estate tax.  His widow just clearly not liable but the question was whether his two children with the widow would bear some of the tax or would only his four children from before would pay all of $11.85 million.  They lost.  Pity the poor attorney who drafted the codicil at issue.  He even testified this is not what Clancy intended.  Rather pity his malpractice carrier.

Jose Fernandez

The Miami Marlins crashed his boat in the middle of the night.  Appears his mother is sole beneficiary of his trust.  His girlfriend, pregnant with his child apparently, gets nothing.  However, likely child can argue “pretermitted” status, in other words forgotten in plan, and so would likely get half.

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

The son of Ol’ Blue Eyes, the Chairman of the Board, died in March 2016.  What a mess.  Divorced wife in 2001, but continued to live together.  In 2013, when here stopped paying alimony, she filed for divorce arguing they had a common law marriage.  She was correct under Texas law, assume that is where they lived.  California no such thing.  He appealed.  Then died.  Appeals court ruled not a common law marriage; keys: filed separate tax returns and bought home as tenants in common.  Could have been avoided by following advice of attorney.

Prince

This is the worst one.  Prince dies without a Will in April.   Apparently he would have intended estate to go only to his youngest sister.  Instead she has to share with his five half-siblings he apparently was not fond of.  Yikes!

Conclusion

Please go see an attorney and get your estate planning done.

 

By Kevin Staker

October 17, 2016

Yelp Listing of Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 12:40 pm

The Yelp listing of Kevin Staker is now found at https://www.yelp.com/biz/kevin-staker-at-stakerlaw-tax-and-estate-planning-law-corporation-camarillo.  Kevin Staker is a living trust attorney in Camarillo, California.  Yelp is a fairly good source of reviews on Kevin Staker.

He is also beginning a practice as a mediator of probate and trust disputes.  His focus will be caring for the parties and really listening to what are their concerns in the matter.

By Kevin Staker

September 19, 2016

Various Updated Sites for Kevin Staker

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 2:39 pm
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LinkedIn

Kevin Staker has updated his profile at Linkedin. The Kevin Staker profile on Linkedin is found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinstaker.

Some success has come from this profile on Linkedin.  Hopefully more will occur.

Lawyers.com

Kevin Staker came be found on lawyers.com at http://www.lawyers.com/camarillo/california/kevin-g-staker-82942-a/.  There are 11 peer reviews with a score of 4.7 out of 5.  There are 25 client reviews with an outstanding score of 4.8 out of 5.0.  Clients have given a positive review of Kevin Staker 96 percent of the time.  Kevin Staker is “AV” rated by his peers as reported by Martindale-Hubbell.

Yelp

The Yelp reviews of Kevin Staker are at https://www.yelp.com/biz/stakerlaw-tax-and-estate-planning-law-corporation-camarillo.  There is only one review, but it is 5 out of 5 stars.  Kevin Staker is a living trust attorney in Camarillo, California.

SuperLawyers

SuperLawyers rates Kevin Staker as the “Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in Camarillo, CA”.  The Superlawyers profile of Kevin Staker is at http://profiles.superlawyers.com/california-southern/camarillo/lawyer/kevin-g-staker/d9fa5c59-0c2a-4e8f-94e0-682892fe4481.html.  Superlawyers has a patented selection process.

California State Bar Listing

The California State Bar profile of Kevin Staker is located at http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Member/Detail/101400.  This profile also discusses how Kevin Staker has two certified legal specialties: Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law (State Bar of California) and Taxation Law (State Bar of California)

Blog on Federal Deficit Reduction

The Kevin Staker Blog on Federal Deficit Reduction is found at http://kevinstaker.tumblr.com/.  Kevin Staker has some frank opinions on this topic.

Twitter

The Twitter feed of Kevin Staker is at https://twitter.com/kevinstaker. Kevin Staker does tweet on occasion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 10, 2016

Various Posts by Kevin Staker

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 12:47 pm

Kevin Staker has posted on his Federal Deficit Reduction Blog by Kevin Staker regarding a fluke decrease in the deficit for May, 2016.  This is found at http://kevinstaker.tumblr.com/post/145722063553/defict-narrows-by-kevin-staker.

Remember the business Facebook page of Kevin Staker is found at https://www.facebook.com/Kevin-Staker-of-StakerLaw-38289441240/.  Kevin Staker shares items there fairly frequently.  He is a living trust attorney in Camarillo, California.

April 27, 2016

Medi-Cal Announces Average Private Pay Rate for California Long Term Care Increased to $8,189 by Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Medi-Cal Planning,Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 5:09 pm
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The California Department of Health Care Services has announced the “average private pay rate” (the “APPR”) for 2016 is $8,189. This is the amount used to calculate the period of time a person is ineligible from long term care assistance if he or she gives more than that amount away to another individual in a non-exempt gift.

The present rules provide if just under that amount, such as $8,188, is given away, they round down to zero and so no period of ineligibility is created.

By Kevin Staker

March 6, 2016

Kevin Staker on Probate in California

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 6:33 pm
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Probate is a court proceeding that simply changes title from the decedent to an executor. The title “executor” technically only applies if there is a Will being probated. If there is no Will, the personal representative is technically the “administrator” of the estate. If there is a Will, but the named executor fails to serve, then the personal representative is called the “administrator with Will annexed”.

A probate in California is triggered if the decedent had more than $150,000 in assets in the decedent’s name alone, without a beneficiary. Automobiles do not count towards the $150,000 and only have to be probated if a probate is triggered by other assets.

Attorneys fees in a California probate are based on the gross size of the estate. Not the amount of work performed. Hence, one should have a living trust to avoid a probate.

If you need a probate, however, for your decedent, StakerLaw would be honored to assist you. We generally will give a discount off of the state set fees.

By Kevin Staker

March 5, 2016

Attorney Sasha Collins

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 3:38 pm

The Staker.com website has now been revamped.  It is now mobile friendly.

It includes a new living trust video by Kevin Staker.  The video is found at https://vimeo.com/156134189.

Attorney Sasha Collins

Attorney Sasha Collins

It also includes a new attorney page regarding Sasha Collins.  Sasha Collins is an attorney at StakerLaw Tax and Estate Planning Law Corporation.  In particular, the site includes a new photo of Sasha Collins.  This page on Sasha Collins is found at http://staker.com/attorney/sasha-collins/.

Sasha Collins now has a Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/sashalcollins.

February 21, 2016

Embedded Kevin Staker Living Trust Video

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 6:41 am

This as follows:

By Kevin Staker

February 14, 2016

If You Own Your Own Home, You Should Have a Living Trust

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 7:20 pm
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May we return to a fundamental of estate planning: if you own your home, you should have a living trust.

You can avoid probate only if the assets in your name alone with no beneficiary are under $150,000 (See California Probate Code section 13100.)  This is based on the gross value of your home, not the net equity.

Also, you do own your home; the bank does not own it.  The bank only has a lien on your home to secure its loan.

Very few homes in California are under $150,000 in value.  Hence, everyone’s family faces a probate of the home when they are gone.

A probate is an involved court proceeding where a judge gives someone in your family the power to sell your home.  Otherwise, your home cannot be sold.  Your name is on the deed.  You cannot sign the deed to sell.  You are deed.

The fees and costs in a probate are astronomical.  The median price of a home in California is about $480,000.  The statutory attorneys fees in a probate of such a home would be $12,600.  Plus your executor could charge you the same amount.

We also handle probates.  But much prefer you do a living trust now.

To paraphrase the old Fram oil filter, “You can pay us a little now, or your family can pay us a lot later on.”

For more information go to the Kevin Staker video at https://vimeo.com/123550117

By Kevin Staker

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