Ben Franklin once famously said, “…nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” When these two certainties merge, confusion and frustration can ensue. That is why having a knowledgeable and empathetic team by your side is important when dealing with the tax planning and preparation of a loved one’s estate.
Do you know what is involved in filing a tax return for a deceased loved one and their estate? Are there ways to reduce or defer the income tax paid by heirs? Do you understand the types of funds that are available and which is best to meet your charitable giving goals? What is “portability,” and could it reduce the amount of taxes owed by beneficiaries?
Partnering with surviving spouses, family members, executors, and estate administrators, the team at BeachFleischman can help simplify the estate tax planning process and be there to prepare the final forms when the time comes. Our goal is to allocate income and expenses in a way that minimizes the income and estate taxes due and time distributions to defer the income tax owed by heirs. Additionally, we support beneficiaries by determining the correct cost basis of inherited assets to reduce income tax due on future sales and dispositions.
Services we offer
- Advance estate planning to minimize taxes
- Charitable gift planning options
- Private foundations
- Donor-advised funds (DAFs)
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Charitable Lead Trusts
- Gift Annuities
- Preparing and filing:
- Form 1040, the deceased individual’s final tax return
- Form 1041, the estate’s income tax return
- Form 706, the estate return
Crafting a Charitable Gift Plan
Forward-thinking charitable planning should be a part of everyone’s estate planning. And like nearly all things that involve money, it is much more complicated than simply writing a check if you want to get the most from your efforts. At BeachFleischman, we have helped hundreds of individuals and families understand the pros and cons of different giving techniques and navigate the ever-changing, always-complicated tax laws that come into play. We take the time to understand not just what you want to do, but why, so we can recommend strategies – and avoid pitfalls – to ensure that most of your funds go to the causes you want to support rather than tax authorities.
Is Portability an Option?
The surviving spouse of a deceased person may benefit from the Deceased Spouse’s Unused Exclusion Amount (DSUEA), otherwise known as the “portability” election, to maximize the amount of the estate excluded from estate tax by carrying over the unused exclusion amount. This option can only be used if the value of the deceased’s estate is under the estate tax exemption amount of $12.92 million in 2023. The downside of this election is that future asset growth is not protected from estate taxes, and it does not apply to the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption. Our estate tax professionals can help you determine if this, and many other options, are in your best interests.