Thomas H. Sullivan

Attorney at Law

Taxes

Trust and Estate Administration: Whom Should You Bring to the Meetings?

Posted on: August 20th, 2021
A loved one’s passing is felt by their entire surviving family. But when it comes to carrying out the decedent’s final wishes, not everyone has an equal say. In fact, in many cases, only one person—the executor, or personal representative, of the estate—plays a role in administering a will. This role includes gathering the deceased’s accounts and property, paying debts, managing the money and property, then distributing the money and property to the chosen individuals or charities named in the will. The same is true of trust administration. The trustee, and typically the trustee alone, is in charge of managing, investing, and distributing the trust’s accounts and property according to the instructions in the trust document. If you are the executor of your loved one’s estate or the trustee of their trust, there are some things you need to know....

Make Gifts That Your Family Will Love but the IRS Won't Tax

Posted on: July 25th, 2021
Do not let constant political and financial speculation prevent you from making tax-free annual exclusion, medical-payment, and educational gifts to or for the benefit of your loved ones....

Why Is My Trust So Long?

Posted on: June 3rd, 2021
When you met with an attorney a few weeks ago, perhaps all you expected was a simple will. Maybe you thought that, with your situation, the work should be easy and the documents should be few. But now that you have finished working with the attorney, your parting gift is a large binder filled with hundreds of pages. You may be wondering, “Why is my trust so long?”...

Demystifying Estate Tax Returns

Posted on: March 16th, 2021
When an individual passes away, tax issues are one of the many things that must be considered. For most individuals who pass away, a final income tax return must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state (if the particular state also taxes income) to settle any income tax liability that may exist. Much less commonly, a federal estate tax return and state estate tax returns (if the state has an estate tax or the decedent held property in a state that has an estate tax) may also be required. Federal estate tax returns are designed to ensure that the federal government can properly assess the amount of estate taxes (if any) due upon the death of a taxpayer. While these types of returns are rarely filed today, there are still a number of reasons why it may be beneficial to file such a return with the IRS, even if not necessarily required (though a state estate tax return may be needed in some states)....

Conservation Easements: Preserving a Heritage With Tax Benefits

Posted on: September 8th, 2020
You may have heard about conservation easements in the news over the past few years and the tax benefits available through the use of them. But what are they and how can they benefit you? ...

State Estate and Inheritance Taxes

Posted on: May 17th, 2020
The federal gift and estate tax exclusion is currently very high—$11.58 million for an individual and $23.16 million for a married couple in 2020. As a result, only very wealthy people currently need to be concerned that their estates will be taxable at the federal level, at least until 2026, when the increased exclusion amount is scheduled to return to the $5 million (adjusted for inflation) exclusion in place before the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But even if you are not among those who currently need to plan to avoid federal estate tax liability, some states have their own estate tax and a few have an inheritance tax (there is no federal inheritance tax). Only one state—Maryland—has both an estate and inheritance tax. State exclusion amounts are typically much lower than the federal estate tax exclusion, so it is important to make sure that your estate planning takes this potential tax liability into account....
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