Estate Planning Considerations for Unmarried Couples: From Domestic Partnership to Tax Planning

By WealthCounsel Staff on Oct 2, 2023 10:02:00 AM


By Nicole Ramos Takemoto, JD

In a society that increasingly embraces diverse relationships, unmarried couples are a significant and growing demographic. As legal professionals, we understand that the legal rights and protections afforded to unmarried couples differ significantly from those granted to married couples. This article explores three interconnected topics within estate planning for unmarried couples: the impact of becoming registered domestic partners, tax considerations, and the importance of comprehensive estate planning. By understanding these issues and taking proactive steps, unmarried couples can protect their rights, minimize tax liabilities, and ensure that their wishes are upheld.

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Marital Share Funding: The Benefits and Burdens of Each Option

By WealthCounsel Staff on Sep 1, 2023 10:01:00 AM

Marital Share Funding Options-8.23

By Phoebe Stone, JD, MA (Bioethics) 

When creating an estate plan for a married couple, there are many ways to plan for its division into marital and nonmarital shares upon the death of the first spouse. The circumstances and the client’s wishes (as informed by your professional guidance) will dictate the most appropriate design. For example, planning for couples of very modest means will likely include different choices than planning for high-net-worth couples; planning for an elderly couple in a decades-long marriage who have only shared children may look different from planning for blended families. To best serve your clients, it is critical that you understand the options available and are able to communicate the benefits and burdens associated with each option in ways your clients will understand so that your expertise can appropriately guide their choices.

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Section 6166: Estate Tax Deferral for Interests in a Closely Held Business

By WealthCounsel Staff on Mar 3, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Section 6166 Blog

Written by Jeremiah W. Doyle IV, JD, LLM

Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) section 6166 allows an executor to defer the payment of the federal estate tax attributable to the interest in a closely held business. The deferred payments may be extended over a period of up to fourteen years and nine months following the death of the business owner. With an estate tax exemption of $12.06 million in 2022, many estates can pass free of federal estate tax, making a section 6166 election unnecessary for the value of a business interest included in the gross estate. However, with the estate, gift, and generation skipping tax exemption scheduled to be reduced to $5 million (indexed for inflation) beginning January 1, 2026, a section 6166 election may become valuable for more estates holding an interest in a closely held business. Thus, it is probably time to dust off a copy of section 6166 and review its complex and somewhat ambiguous provisions.

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