Last Will and Testament: Death Taxes

By Lorabella The rules of some death taxes vary according to the state in which the testator resided. Although the federal estate tax has been dubbed the death tax, this phrase is also commonly used to designate the state inheritance tax in those states that impose it. What Are Death Taxes? The term death tax is used to refer to an inheritance tax or an estate tax. More specifically, a death tax is one that is imposed an individual’s property when it is transferred to the inheritors of the estate upon his death. The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, calls this tax the federal estate tax and defines it as “a tax on your right to transfer property at your death.” The origination of this particular phrase, death tax, dates back to a time when it was created as a negative connotation for the federal estate tax. The tax itself might be determined on the value of the property or it might be based on the relationship of the inheritor to the decedent. What is the Federal Estate Tax Imposed Upon? In general, every item or asset that the decedent held an interest in becomes part of his gross estate. Therefore, the tax is imposed on all of his assets. In particular, the federal estate tax is imposed on the following types of property: personal property, business assets, and investments. Personal property includes such items as primary homes, vacation homes, motor vehicles, boats, furniture, paintings, and similar types of items….

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Death & Taxes

By Willard Michlin Have you ever owned a stock, or piece of real estate that you wanted to sell? You felt the time was right to take your profit and run. Did you then not follow through with the sale because “the taxes would kill you?” This is what I call “making a decision based on taxes.” It is not “Good Horse Sense.” What is horse sense? This is where the horse knows that a certain spot is dangerous and it will not step there. The rider, not seeing the danger, sometimes pushes the horse to move forward, but the horse refuses. People quite often will not trust their “sense.” Women are known for their “instincts” about people. Men are not always as “sensitive” of their instincts as women are. Lets get back to business instincts. In the stock market the smart money always says, “Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs lose money.” What does this mean? It means, “Never be afraid to take a profit.” If it is time to sell, sell! Take your profit and wait until the time is right to get back in. Taxes sometimes make this very difficult. If you sell, the taxes may eat up 30-50% of the profit. Then again, if you do not sell, when you think the timing is right, you may lose 100% of the profit and some of the principal. It is always smarter to make your business decision first. It is also very important to not consider…

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Death and Taxes

By Carl Hampton “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” Benjamin Franklin I, like many other good citizens from this great country of ours, left it to the very last moment to mail off this year’s tax return. As I entered the local post office and saw the long line, I once again promised myself that next year would be different. I really would make the effort to get them off before the last minute rush. As I moved slowly towards the front of the line, I began wondering, in this day and age is this really the best system our great and wonderful leaders can come up with. After all, we now live in a world that allows a satellite miles above us to read a number plate. We can get the worldwide web on our cell phone, download TV programs that we may have missed or just want to save onto our iPods. The original tax laws introduced in 1913 were a very simple affair. They began with tax brackets ranging from 1 to 7 percent – a far cry from today’s levels. The IRS tax codes, regulations and guidelines now have well over 9 million words. No wonder there's so much confusion. Is there truly anyone who really understands this monster. Let’s put this into some form of prospective. The Declaration of Independence has a little more than 1300 words. The Constitution which has served us well for more than…

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