NEW LAWS: What you need to know: Senate Bill 138 Creates Liabilities for Fiduciaries

as published in the NH Bar News 8/25/2013

Intended to help nursing homes collect, this controversial law opens tranferees and fiduciaries to three new causes of action.

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American Taxpayer Relief Act

On New Year’s Day 2013, Congress passed the “American Taxpayer Relief Act.”  As part of the aversion of the “fiscal cliff,” this new law contains the first “permanent” Federal estate and gift tax provisions in 12 years.  Here are the highlights of the new law, as it pertains to the Federal estate tax:

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Elder, Estate Planning and Probate Law: Estate Planning for Digital Assets

To say that the digital age is well upon us would be an understatement, and yet estate planning for digital assets has barely begun.

Digital devices, local servers and the cloud store billions of pieces of valuable, confidential and proprietary information. Sixty percent of Americans pay at least some of their bills online. More and more people use financial sites such as Mint, Quicken and Turbo Tax to store information. Email and texting have become the choice method of communication for today’s generation. Facebook has over 800 million users. Given the importance of people’s “virtual lives” and the very real digital assets, estate planners should be discussing digital asset planning with their clients.

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Planning for the 2013 Medicare Tax

Beginning in 2013, the Health Care Educational and Reconciliation Act of 2010 imposes a 3.8 percent tax on certain income of high-earning individuals. This year, 2012, presents an opportunity to assist clients with planning to minimize or possibly avoid the tax.

This so-called “Medicare Tax” will apply to single taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) in excess of $200,000 and to married taxpayers with MAGI in excess of $250,000, if filing a joint return, or $125,000 if filing separate returns.

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