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Election

Hang On Until January 20th, When All Will Be Well

By | Election, Estate Planning | No Comments

This has been quite an election cycle.  Most people have expressed great concern about the outcome of the presidential election, and emotions and fears are high.  I have jokingly told clients and attendees at public and private seminars that they need not worry – just hang on until the end of January.  All will then be well.  I have listened to all of the candidates, and each has promised that he/she will solve all our problems.  WOW.

While entertaining at times, the political process has been frustrating, irritating, and threatening to many, if not most.  Some predict the end of our democratic institutions; some have lost faith in almost all elected officials.  Almost all worry to some extent how we will restore more peaceful times, and whether we will be able to exist as well as we have in the past.

With all the concerns, there are great reasons for hope.  Notwithstanding all our problems, few nations allow such opportunity and security as we enjoy.  The simple fact is that we can do much in our individual situations to protect ourselves and to progress.

The reason our firm limits its practice exclusively to estate planning is that we can truly help clients protect their assets, their legacies, their future plans, and even their hope.  Obviously, not all estate plans are created equal, but with proper planning that includes provisions for very important recent changes in state and federal laws, people can be sure their future, and the legacy and estate they leave will be much more secure.

 

theron-hallContributed by Morris Hall PLLC, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale Estate Planning Attorney and Senior Partner Theron M Hall Jr.

About Morris Hall, PLLC:
At Morris Hall, PLLC we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 45 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

Taxes and the Presidential Race – Donald Trump

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We had previously discussed what our taxes may look like if Hillary Clinton was elected president.  Last Monday’s debate demonstrated how different the two candidates are.  Whoever is elected, it is important to understand the impacts and effects of the tax law changes to you, and potentially your estate plan.

The director of education at the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Steve Harnett, wrote a nice piece summarizing Donald Trump’s Tax Plan.

In the estate tax realm, The Donald plans to eliminate the tax altogether.  On its face that seems like a good thing (less taxes is typically good for all of us).  However, this needs to be put into perspective.  The current federal estate tax exemption amount (i.e. no tax on any dollars less than the exemption) is $5.45 million.  At this level there will be about 10,800 estate tax returns filed in 2015, of which only 5,300 will actually owe a tax.  Only multi-multi-millionaires and billionaires will pay an estate tax.  This is not even the “1%”.  This is the 0.2%!  The other 99.8% of the people will not pay an estate tax.  So Donald’s plan is to eliminate something that has effectively already been eliminated.

Donald does propose to get some of the tax back on estate valued over $10 million by not allowing a “Step-Up” in cost basis.  This will create additional capital gains tax upon the estates selling the assets.

As for income tax, the Donald looks to be cutting taxes across the board, though his actual tax proposal seems to be continually changing.  As Steve Harnett points out, the reductions for low income earners is about 1.2% and those with higher earnings would receive a 10.2% reduction.  The one good thing with Donald’s proposal is a simplification of the tax brackets, cutting them from 7 to 3.  For a more detailed analysis you can look here.

Taxes are the bane of our existence. However, living in a civilized society has a cost (we just hope the government spend those dollars wisely).  So taxes are inevitable.  In a presidential election year, the changes in the tax laws is inevitable as a new president is sworn in.  We, as citizens, just need to be ready for the new laws’ impact on us.

 

jim-plitzContributed by Morris Hall PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, James P. Plitz.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall, PLLC Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

Taxes and the Presidential Race – Hillary Clinton

By | Election | No Comments

Election years create a lot of uncertainty when it comes to laws – especially tax law.  And though the pundits talk about this year’s race being unlike anything in our history, the tax uncertainty is still a common thread tying back to elections past.

It is important to understand the various taxes that could change, and the impacts each will have on you, and potentially your estate plan.

The director of education at the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Steve Harnett, wrote a nice piece summarizing Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan.

The big takeaway from Hillary’s estate tax proposal is that it would be the first time in the United States’ history that the applicable exemption amount would move backward.  Currently a person passing away this year receives an exemption from estate tax, at the federal level, for the first $5.45 million dollars.  Hillary’s plan cuts that to $3.5 million (still a large number, but moving in the wrong direction).  She also proposes to increase the rate from 40% to 45%.

As for income tax, Ms. Clinton targets the rich – those with incomes above $750,000.  It is estimated that if you are in the top 1% of tax payers, your tax bill will rise $78,000.  However, under Ms. Clinton’s plan, those who earn less than $300,000 will face no increase.  You can see the Tax Policy Center for more details.

Elections create change.  Some for the better, some not so much.  However, with the right advice and proper estate planning, these and other future changes may have minimal effects.  But the key thing is to sit down with one of our attorneys to have your plan reviewed to ensure it works for you, and mitigates future changes.

Next week, I will be writing on Donald Trump’s tax plan.

 

jim-plitzContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Last Cruces Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, James P. Plitz.

Why Choose Morris Hall, PLLC:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, Morris Hall is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only three firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with Morris Hall.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

 

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.