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Jason C. Hunter, Estate Planning Attorney
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Estate, Tax, and Business Attorney Blog
Interests: Estate Planning, Tax Planning, Business Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, Elder Law, and related legal fields.
Recent Activity
When you inherit property, such as a house or stocks, the property is usually worth more than it was when the original owner purchased it. If you were to sell the property, there could be huge capital gains taxes. Fortunately, when you inherit property, the property’s tax basis is "stepped... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Are payable on death accounts a simple way to pass assets to heirs or are they a mistake? It sure sounds simple. With a payable on death account or paid on death account, you name a beneficiary who gets the account when you die—no probate, no hassle … How can... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Among those with wealth primarily concentrated in their home or investment portfolio, there are two types of trusts designed to transfer wealth to heirs and save taxes by removing the assets from the estate. In effect, this reduces the amount of the decedent's taxable wealth. One is a grantor retained... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
It’s no secret that Americans are obsessed with taxes and unhappy with the IRS. Take the IRS crackdown on foreign accounts and income …. Some people vote with their feet. For most, taxes are at least part–usually a big part–of the equation. The golden years sometimes mean golden sands. Increasingly,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
In a low interest rate environment, a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) can serve as a powerful estate planning tool to allow … high net worth [individuals] to transfer assets with minimal—and in some cases zero—tax liability. GRATs are still pretty great, but we might have to act soon! The... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
I never advocate going all-in on a business, but at the very least it should be something that crosses your mind before taking the road less traveled. However, if you choose to take the road less traveled and find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance that is bankruptcy, then the following... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
It is indeed possible for a charitable gift annuity, a charitable remainder unitrust, a charitable remainder annuity trust, a life estate agreement or a pooled income fund to be converted into a current gift. Timing can be everything when it comes to your charitable donations, both for you and for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Your legacy is putting your stamp on the future. It’s a way to make some meaning of your existence: “Yes, world of the future, I was here. Here’s my contribution, here’s why I hope my life mattered.” Sometimes it can be easy to see the trees, but miss the forest.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Although most people's estates aren't large enough to be affected by the federal estate tax, residents in many states have to consider how state taxes may reduce their estates. Several states have their own estate tax, which can affect much smaller estates than the federal estate tax does. In addition,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Just as the courts are juggling with multiple definitions of family, so too are families today finding that there’s no single "“right” answer. Rather, they must ask the right questions and come up with answers that work for now and have enough flexibility for what the future might hold. It’s... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
If you also have an IRA, you probably named a beneficiary of that account on the custodian’s beneficiary form. The IRA beneficiary form decides who gets your IRA after your death; not your Will. So, you prepared your Last Will and Testament. However, that does not mean your Will is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Many businesses simply cannot be sold, and others end up being sold for far less than expected, said Randy Gerber, founder of Gerber L.L.C., which helps business owners manage their personal finances. And even if a business can be sold, he said, owners often have an unrealistic notion of how... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Inheritance disputes are as old as the Bible -- see Jacob and Esau. But now a broad, deep wave of acrimony is hitting the U.S. as 76 million baby boomers, born after 1946, inherit estates or die. According to one study by MetLife, boomers stand to inherit upwards of $8.4... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
An easement is the legal removal of a right of use. Conservation easements generally protect wildlife habitat and recreational land by eliminating development rights. They are also a valuable estate-planning tool and landowners who donate these rights get substantial income-tax breaks. Conservation easements are something of a hot topic these... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
One of the key provisions of ATRA is to make permanent the so-called portability of the applicable exclusion amount between spouses, which was enacted by Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Terms of art can be interesting, to say the least. You know, those arcane... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Tony Soprano may have been an expert at hiding his money from the feds, but actor James Gandolfini, the recently deceased actor who portrayed the fictional New Jersey mob boss on TV, apparently was not. Moreover, advisors say that wealthy families can take some lessons from the mistakes the award-winning... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
For those retirees who had not planned on receiving an inheritance or are happily surprised at the amount they receive, it's time to reassess your retirement goals and needs. Certainly this newfound money allows you to enhance your standard of living, but it also gives you the ability to accomplish... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
I think that conservation and façade easements are a great idea, but only if you have a sincere desire to help protect your property from being changed. The cases over the last few years show that they are probably overrated as a freebie tax deduction. Sometimes you can have your... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Chances are good you will be spending some vacation time this summer with older family members. If so, take the opportunity to have “the talk.” There’s never a good or easy time to talk with older parents about their finances and estate plans. But taking advantage of a relaxing moment... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
If you're a pet owner, you probably consider your dog, cat or cockatiel a member of your immediate family. But chances are, the estate plan that so carefully provides for your other loved ones leaves your pet out in the cold. Estate planning is about planning for your loved ones.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
Our efforts to dodge disability appear to be falling short. Gerontologists once hoped for a “compression of morbidity”; the idea was that we could remain healthy and active until our bodies fail at advanced ages, and we swiftly died. But new research shows that this has not materialized for most... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
A 21-year-old Columbus man who had been declared legally dead but was on artificial life support had his organs harvested under court order [Thursday, July 11, 2013] over his family’s objections. Your last will and testament is not always the only final word you leave behind regarding your final wishes.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
The biggest mistake often made with long-term care planning is putting it off until health issues can make LTC planning much more costly or impossible to qualify for. When you consider the potential financial impact of not planning for long-term care, planning for LTC should be an important part of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
When are the proceeds of life insurance policies includible in a taxpayer’s gross estate? Fact: the estate tax is set to some fairly generous limits these days, with a married couple able to protect up to $10.5 million together. Consequently, it can be tempting for many taxpayers to simply coast... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning
The rocky ownership transition was not exactly a succession plan… “I think in his mind he really was going to live forever.” That was his succession plan. Closely-held businesses are just not like other assets. You have to think differently about how you are going to pass them along through... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2013 at Salt Lake City Estate Planning