Author Archives: randyspiro

About randyspiro

I am a super lawyer in California with dual specialization in Estate Planning and Taxation.

When the original of the trust document has been lost

A person who has a revocable living trust may inadvertently lose the original trust document. He or she will typically continue to hold title to assets in the name of the trust. The person can still furnish copies from his … Continue reading

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NEW IRS RULES

New IRS ruling where surviving spouse forgot to timely file the deceased spouse’s federal estate tax return and thereby failed to make portability election When one spouse dies on or after January 1, 2011, his or her federal estate tax … Continue reading

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Is there a need to save estate tax?

For persons dying in 2014, the estate tax exemption is $5,340,000. If the surviving spouse files a timely estate tax return for the first-spouse-to-die, the first-spouse-to-die’s exemption can be added to the surviving spouse’s exemption. This is called portability. Unless … Continue reading

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Assets Located Outside of the United States

Sam and Jill have created a revocable living trust. They have been told to transfer their assets into their trust in order to avoid probate. When their attorney asked them to list their assets, they forgot to tell him about … Continue reading

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State Inheritance Tax

// California no longer has a State Inheritance Tax. The Federal Estate Tax Exemption in 2013 is  $5,250,000. This does not mean that a person dying with an estate that is less than  $5,250,000 will not be subject to a … Continue reading

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Re-Evaluating your Successor Trustee

Odysseus, the legendary Greek King of Ithica and the hero of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey, spent years away from his kingdom fighting in  the Trojan Wars. During that time, his wife had to remain faithful to him and she … Continue reading

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Estate Tax Changes 2013.

The estate tax exemption was about to go down to $1,000,000 starting January 1, 2013, but the 2012 Tax Relief Act permanently extended the $5,000,000 gift and estate tax exemption. That exemption is projected to be $5,250,000 for 2013, and … Continue reading

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Estate Tax Uncertainty

As of December 12, 2012 as I write this newsletter, Americans do not know what will happen to the estate tax law on January 1, 2013. Yes, we know that the exemption for gifts during life, or for gifts at … Continue reading

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Increase in Gift Tax Annual Exclusion

$13,000 is the amount that any one donor can give to any one donee in 2012 without having to file a federal estate tax return (form 709) and without having to use upany of the donor’s combined during life and … Continue reading

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Children who are not mentioned in a Will or Trust

John and Mary are married, and have two children by that marriage, Bill and Mike. Before the marriage, John had a child out of wedlock, Sally, but John has never told Mary about Sally. During the marriage, John had another … Continue reading

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