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Leave your mark with a dynasty trust

If a prime objective of your estate plan is to leave a lasting legacy, a dynasty trust may be the right estate planning vehicle for you. And, thanks to the substantially increased generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption amount established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a dynasty trust is more appealing than ever.

Hire your children this summer: Everyone wins

If you’re a business owner and you hire your children (or grandchildren) this summer, you can obtain tax breaks and other nontax benefits. The kids can gain on-the-job experience, save for college and learn how to manage money. And you may be able to:

Shift your high-taxed income into tax-free or low-taxed income,
Realize payroll tax savings (depending on the child’s age and how your business is organized), and
Enable retirement plan contributions for the children.

Section 529 Plans

Section 529 plans are a popular education-funding tool because of tax and other benefits. Two types are available: 1) prepaid tuition plans, and 2) savings plans. And one of these plans got even better under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Enjoy valuable benefits

529 plans provide a tax-advantaged way to help pay for qualifying education expenses.

The 2018 gift tax return deadline is almost here

Did you make large gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs last year? If so, it’s important to determine whether you’re required to file a 2018 gift tax return — or whether filing one would be beneficial even if it isn’t required.

Filing requirements

Generally, you must file a gift tax return for 2018 if, during the tax year, you made gifts:

That exceeded the $15,000-per-recipient gift tax annual exclusion (other than to your U.S. citizen spouse),
That you wish to split with your spouse to take advantage of your combined $30,000 annual exclusion,
That exceeded the $152,000 annual exclusion for gifts to a noncitizen spouse,
To a Section 529 college savings plan and wish to accelerate up to five years’ worth of annual exclusions ($75,000) into 2018,
Of future interests — such as remainder interests in a trust — regardless of the amount, or
Of jointly held or community property.

Sudden impact: When a spouse unexpectedly dies

What if the unthinkable happens and your spouse dies unexpectedly? As the surviving spouse, there are several steps you need to take during this difficult time. For example, secure copies of the death certificate and inform life insurance companies and the Social Security Administration of the death.