U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said today the federal government will recognize the roughly 300 same-sex marriages that took place in Michigan last Saturday, before a federal appeals court put those unions on hold.
“I have determined that the same-sex marriages performed last Saturday in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government,” said Holder in a statement. ” These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. The Governor of Michigan has made clear that the marriages that took place on Saturday were lawful and valid when entered into, although Michigan will not extend state rights and benefits tied to these marriages pending further legal proceedings. For purposes of federal law, as I announced in January with respect to similarly situated same-sex couples in Utah, these Michigan couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled.”
Continue reading Federal Government Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriages in Michigan
If your spouse is deceased and you are the current beneficiary of their trust, keep reading. You may be able to save a significant amount of money in income taxes and capital gains taxes by distributing income and/or assets out of the trust now or dissolving the trust entirely if the terms of the trust permit this.
Trusts are currently subject to the maximum tax rates on any income over $12,150. It doesn’t take much to meet that threshold. As a result of new tax laws passed in 2013, the highest income tax rate is now 39.6 percent, the maximum tax rate for long-term capital gains and dividends is 20 percent, and a 3.8 percent “Medicare” tax is imposed on investment income (including capital gains). Continue reading Tax-Planning: Consider Termination of Your Late Spouse’s Trust
If you haven’t already enrolled in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace, you may get a little more time to do so. The Obama administration announced late Tuesday night that it will extend the deadline for those who have begun to apply for coverage online, but haven’t finished by the March 31st deadline. Administration officials said the move is in anticipation of an expected surge of people trying to sign up in the final days before the deadline.
Continue reading Health Care Reform: Enrollment Extension for Individuals, Guidance for Small Businesses
The state of Michigan will not recognize the more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend. Governor Rick Snyder’s announcement comes one day after an appeals court indefinitely stopped any additional same-sex marriages, while it reviews a decision that struck down a 2004 law that says marriage only is between a man and a woman.
Continue reading Michigan Will Not Recognize Same-Sex Marriages, Ban to Stay in Place Pending Appeal
The recent decision by a federal court in Michigan in DeBoer v. Snyder could have major implications for your employee benefit plans. The extent of the impact on a particular plan will depend upon the provisions of the plan—particularly how the term “spouse” is defined—as well as future litigation and regulatory developments.
Continue reading Judge Rules State’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
Attorney Mark E. Kellogg recently gave a presentation to the Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council on planning for unique personal property assets. The presentation focused on the planning stage, transfer of unique assets, and the administration of unique assets following death. To view Mark’s presentation, head over to our Slideshare.
Do you use email? Facebook? Have an online-only bank account? What about an iTunes library? Or e-books stored on a Kindle or Nook?
In 2011, Americans valued their digital assets at nearly $55,000 dollars, according to a survey conducted for McAfee, a major security technology company. This can only mean one thing: the arrival of the digital age has spawned the necessity for additional estate planning.
Digital assets may represent a sizeable portion of your estate, so it’s important to understand what they are and how to incorporate them into your plans.
Continue reading What Happens to Your Digital Fortune When You Die?
Under the Affordable Care Act, small employers are not required to provide health insurance to their employees. However, many small employers plan to offer health insurance coverage anyway. An important factor in this decision has been the availability of the Small Business Health Care Affordability Tax Credits. Below are some of key components of the tax credit:
Continue reading Small Business Health Care Affordability Tax Credits
On March 10, 2014, the IRS published final regulations on various reporting requirements for employers and health insurance issuers. These reporting requirements, originally set to become effective for 2014 but delayed along with the employer shared responsibility requirements mid-2013, are applicable for the 2015 calendar year.
Continue reading Employer Reporting Requirements of Health Coverage & Other Guidance on ACA
Independent contractors face unique challenges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Most notably, independent contractors (also referred to as “business professionals”) must look at health care reform from both the perspective of their external relationships and their internal business operations. One the one hand, the ACA has motivated many independent contractors to reexamine their relationships with the companies they work with. At the heart of this analysis, these professionals focus on whether they should be classified as employees of the companies they work with or whether they are truly independent contractors. Under health care reform, the differences between these classifications are substantial. On the other hand, independent contractors are evaluating their own business operations to make sure these operations continue to make sense in the current health care reform environment. Frequently, independent contractors discover that their existing business operations need to be modified to support their health care reform strategies. Please allow me to discuss these challenges in greater detail.
Continue reading Independent Contractors and Health Care Reform