Tax Implications after DOMA

On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as it violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution as applied to persons of the same sex who reside in states that recognize same-sex marriages.

This decision entitles same-sex married couples many federal tax related benefits.  These benefits will have an impact on their income tax filing status, estate and gift tax planning, employee benefits, and ability to inherit social security benefits, among others.READ MORE

Estate Planning in a Post 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act Environment

For many people, the last few months of 2012 were an estate planning headache weighing the costs and benefits of gifting to children or trusts while debating whether the Federal government would increase or decrease the lifetime unified credit.  The lifetime unified credit is the total combined amount you may transfer while alive (without incurring gift tax liability) and through your estate (without incurring estate tax liability), referred to hereinafter as the “exemption amount”.  For the better part of a decade, there has been uncertainty and the looming deadline of legal change.  After the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (“Act”), we now know the rules of the game going forward.   READ MORE

A Refreshing Twist to the Pitfalls of Sudden Wealth Syndrome

In 2009, Sports Illustrated estimated that 78% of NFL players are bankrupt within two years of ending their careers, and that 60% of NBA players are broke within 5 years of retiring. Although not as dismal, Lottery winners also have an extremely poor track record of successfully retaining their wealth. Many of these individuals suffer from Sudden Wealth Syndrome (SWS), a term coined by Dr. Stephen Golbart and Joan Di Furia of the Money, Meaning & Choices Institute (MMCI) in the late 1990’s. Through their investment advisory firm’s dot com and lottery winner clientele, they witnessed a host of psychological issues that they associated with the stresses of new or sudden wealth resulting in financial disasters.READ MORE

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