In October, the governor signed Public Act 310 of 2014, which provides a number of new exemptions from the “uncapping” of a property’s taxable value upon transfer of ownership of the residential real property.
Under current Michigan law, whenever a transfer of ownership of real property occurs, the taxable value of the property uncaps in the following year and is re-set at fifty percent of the property’s true cash value (i.e. the state equalized value). There are, however, a number of exemptions to the definition of a “transfer of ownership.” These exemptions allow for certain transfers to occur without uncapping the taxable value of the property, which can be of great significance to those who hold highly appreciated real property.
Continue reading New Exemptions from the Uncapping of the Taxable Value of Residential Real Property
As 2014 draws to a close, there is still time to consider and engage in estate tax planning and income tax planning opportunities.
Estate and Gift Tax Planning
Given the significant increase in the federal estate tax exemption to $5,000,000 per individual ($10,000,000 combined for married persons) beginning in 2011, and as adjusted for inflation for subsequent years, the focus for many has shifted to income tax planning. The federal estate tax exemption for 2015 will be $5,430,000 (or $10,860,000 combined for married persons).
Continue reading Year-End Tax Planning Considerations
It is never too soon to begin planning for 2015. This is especially true for Michiganders planning to purchase health insurance for 2015 through the federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace (“Marketplace”). Starting on November 15, 2014, individuals and small businesses will have the opportunity to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace. However, the open enrollment period for the Marketplace is only three months this year, half of what it was last year. Open enrollment ends on February 15, 2015. Once open enrollment ends, individuals will only be permitted to purchase a Marketplace insurance plan if they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying life event.
Continue reading Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2015
The Ingham County Bar Foundation presented a $5,000 grant to Friends of the Ingham County Veterans Treatment Court on November 13, 2014 during their board meeting. The grant is the largest amount the ICVTC has received since being established in March 2010 as well as the largest amount given by the ICBF.
“This grant permits us to continue to assist with the ongoing costs for training and to expand our assistance with expenses of the veterans within that court,” said ICVTC Board President Larry Salstrom.
The ICVTC is designed to assist veterans from all branches of the military who are currently involved in the criminal justice system. Continue reading Ingham County Bar Foundation Provides Grant to Local Veterans Treatment Court
HEALTH FSA INCREASE
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released the annual inflation adjustments for tax year 2015. Among the over 40 tax provisions set forth in Revenue Procedure 2014-61 is the cost of living adjustment for health flexible spending accounts (health FSAs).
Specifically, for 2015, the dollar limit on employee salary reduction contributions to health FSAs will increase to $2,550 (a $50 increase from the 2014 limit of $2,500). For more information on this and other tax provision adjustments, click here. Continue reading Client Alerts: FSA Increase, HSA Limits, and Two New Mid-Year Cafeteria Plan Changes
With fall now upon us, the whitetail deer population will be on the move throughout Michigan. An unfortunate result of the deer activity: car-deer crashes. Each year, more than 50,000 car-deer crashes are reported in Michigan. The most serious crashes, according to state police, happen when drivers swerve to avoid the animal, and hit another car or object instead.
Most of us have been there – either in a car-deer crash ourselves, or we know someone who has. So, it’s important to remember some basic tips on what to do when you do encounter a “deer in the headlights”. Continue reading Safety Tips for Avoiding a Deer Crash
Fraser Trebilcock Attorney Ryan M. Wilson was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 in the field of Trusts and Estates.
Mr. Wilson has been working in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration for over 22 years. He has completed the Probate and Estate Planning Program, and has achieved an AV peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell. He has published a monthly column on Estate Strategies in the Ingham County Legal News since 2009. Mr. Wilson is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Tax Court. Continue reading Attorney Ryan Wilson Included in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015
The IRS has issued the estate and gift tax limits for 2015 (Rev. Proc. 2014-61). For an estate of a person dying in 2015, the basic exclusion amount is $5,430,000 for determining the credit against federal estate tax. This means that for a person dying in 2015, no federal estate tax will be imposed if his or her gross estate is less than $5,430,000. Therefore, with proper estate planning, an individual could transfer up to $5,430,000, or a married couple could transfer up to $10,860,000, to their children without paying federal estate tax. The basic exclusion amount for 2015 was adjusted for inflation up from the 2014 amount of $5,340,000. Continue reading Client Alert: Estate and Gift Tax Limits Announced for 2015
Fraser Trebilcock attorney Brian T. Gallagher was recently selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star 2014 in Michigan for the field of Employee Benefits. No more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in Michigan are awarded with the honor of Rising Star.
In his practice, Mr. Gallagher helps employers to navigate the complicated and ever-changing legal landscape of ERISA and the Tax Code. He is a member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section. Mr. Gallagher was named one of the “10 Over the Next Ten” by the Lansing Regional Chamber and Grand River Connection, and one of the “Top 5 Under 35” by the Ingham County Bar Association in 2013. Continue reading Attorney Brian T. Gallagher Selected as Rising Star 2014
Fraser Trebilcock Attorney Melisa M. W. Mysliwiec was recently selected as a Super Lawyer 2014 Rising Star in Michigan for the fields of Estate Planning & Probate and Elder Law. Only 2.5 percent of Michigan lawyers are honored as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.
Ms. Mysliwiec is a member of Fraser Trebilcock’s Trust and Estate department, advising clients in the areas of elder law and Medicaid planning, estate planning, and trust and estate administration. She is currently an Assistant Editor of the Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Journal, serves on a number of committees for the State Bar of Michigan’s Probate and Estate Planning Council, Continue reading Attorney Melisa M. W. Mysliweic named a Super Lawyer “Rising Star” 2014