Understanding Uniform Transfer To Minor Accounts (UTMA's)

West Essex Tribune
October 7, 2004

UTMAs are accounts at a bank, broker or mutual fund, in the name of a custodian for the benefit of a child. The custodian controls the account until the child is 21 years old. The income is taxed to the child saving taxes using to the child's lower tax brackets.

There are drawbacks to UTMAs.

First, if the custodian put assets into the UTMA or is the child's parent or legal guardian, the UTMA is included, and taxed, in the custodian's estate.

Second, when the child gets the account when they are 21 years old.

Read more: Understanding Uniform Transfer To Minor Accounts (UTMA's)

Five Smart Moves to Save Money and Bring Peace of Mind

West Essex Tribune
December 9, 2004

December is the time to review your financial and estate planning situation to make moves to save money on taxes this year. Consult with your financial and tax advisors to see what moves are right for you. Before the end of the year, at the very minimum:

  1. Review your capital gains and losses. Generally if the net gains and losses are zero there are no taxes due on them so selling some investments may save taxes.
  2. Make gifts. Complete your annual gifts to reduce your estate tax. You may give up to $11,000 per recipient to as many people as you want. However, if you are concerned about Medicaid qualification, you should consult an attorney first.
  3. Make charitable gifts. Donations must be paid by December 31.

Read more: Five Smart Moves to Save Money and Bring Peace of Mind

Why Do You Need A Will?

West Essex Tribune
January 20, 2005

When you have a properly prepared Will:

  1. You decide who will raise your children, not the Court.
  2. You decide who inherits your money, not the State-your assets don't go to any one you don't want to receive them.
  3. You can leave your child's assets in trust where you set the terms so the money isn't held by the Surrogate in a CD and given to your child when they are 18 years old.
  4. You name someone you trust as an executor to oversee your estate instead of the Court picking an administrator.
  5. You can save thousands of dollars so the people you want to receive your money get more of it and not the Court, bonding companies, and others.
  6. You can pay less tax. New Jersey has an estate tax once your assets exceed $675,000 (including your home, life insurance and retirement plans).

If you want to change an existing Will your attorney can prepare a codicil or a new Will.

A simple mistake can change who receives part of your estate and could add significant costs. It is important to have an attorney who practices extensively in this area prepare your Will.

5 New Tax Law Changes Affect You

West Essex Tribune
October 13, 2005

There have been several recent tax law changes you ought to know about. Among them are:

  1. The limitation on most charitable donations of 50% of Adjusted Gross Income has been changed to a limit of 100% of Adjusted Gross Income for donations made from August 28, 2005 to December 31, 2005.
  2. The itemized deduction phase-out for most charitable donations made from August 28, 2005 to December 31, 2005 has been eliminated.
  3. These changes mean it may be the ideal time for you to consider a charitable remainder trust that pays you an annuity for your lifetime and gives you a current charitable donation income tax deduction.

Read more: 5 New Tax Law Changes Affect You

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