No, we’re not talking about the 1940 film, “Christmas in July,” nor are we talking about Werther’s 1892 opera which featured children rehearsing Christmas songs in July. We are talking about the unprecedented opportunity each individual has to make gifts in 2012 to take advantage of his or her lifetime gift-tax exemption amount.
Groupon is a service provider that created an electronic marketplace for local business. Through Groupon, merchants are able to offer promotional deals to local customers. In turn, consumers are able to access promotional deals offered by local businesses. The goal of this arrangement is to generate better prices on goods, services or experiences for consumers and enhance the scope, reach and results (hopefully) of merchants’ marketing efforts.
The Governor signed Enrolled Senate Bill 92 yesterday, which deals with new requirements for durable powers of attorney for finances. The law is PA 2012, No. 141. The new requirements do not apply to a durable power of attorney executed before October 1, 2012. However, if your durable power of attorney does not meet the new requirements, it would be wise to contact your attorney to execute a new one.
Many people leave their assets to their surviving spouse, then equally to their children. What happens when a person leaves unequal shares to his or her children? Is there a way to do this without causing a knock-down-drag-out fight between the kids?
The next seven months provide tax-free gifting opportunities for many that may never be available again. The 2012 federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax rates are the lowest (35 percent), and the corresponding exemption amounts the highest ($5,120,000), they have ever been. And, unless Congress takes action, these rates are scheduled to increase (to 55 percent, or 60 percent for estates over $10,000,000), and the exemptions to decrease (to $1,000,000, except that the exemption for the generation-skipping transfer tax will be adjusted for inflation), effective January 1, 2013. Given that no one knows with certainty what Congress will do, if anything, individuals should explore and take advantage of the current tax-free gifting opportunities available to them, and quickly.