Patel Law Offices Blog

Naming A Minor as Your IRA Beneficiary

IRAs and qualified plans are great vehicles for saving for retirement. Contributions to the plans are not taxed, and the assets inside the plan enjoy tax free reinvestment and accumulation. The income tax is payable only when the assets are

Estate Planning for Non-US citizens

Estate Planning for Non-US citizens By Parag Patel Esq. Non-US citizens (greencard holders or H-1 visaholders) are severely discriminated against by US estate tax laws. Since estate taxes are based on the size of your estate. It is estimated that

Introduction to Estate Planning

Estate planning is concerned with the use, conservation and disposition of a person’s property and wealth. This involves two elements: (1) minimizing the gift or estate tax consequences that occur when a person’s property is passed to another either during

GRATS: A Great Estate Planning Tool

As its name implies, in a GRAT, you, the grantor, retain the right to an annuity for a fixed period of years from assets you’ve placed into a trust.


By Parag P. Patel, Esq.   During our lifetime, most of us strive to create and build upon our net worth. We generate savings, purchase a home, and eventually invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs and retirement plans. Unfortunately, most

A perfect storm for gifting…

Every storm eventually comes to an end...Now is the time to gift.

Why should you do estate planning in a down economy?

1.             Business and real estate values may be down as much as 20% since last year at this time.  This creates opportunities for transferring the business, stock or assets to children or key employees at significantly less tax cost than

Estate Planning in a Recession

Most people know that they should have an estate plan in place; however, making estate planning a priority is difficult even in the best of times, let alone during times of financial crisis. While the benefits of estate planning are

What does divorce do to your estate plan?

According to census bureau statistics, nearly half of married couples will at some time go through a divorce. If you are going through the divorce process, you’ve got a lot of company. So, do you need a new will? What

Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts

Estate tax planners have long employed intentionally defective grantor trusts to freeze the value of an asset for estate tax purposes while transferring assets out of the estate free of gift tax. An intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) is a

Buy-Sell Agreements

By Parag Patel, Esq. What if your business partner retires, sells her portion of the business, or gets a divorce? To make sure there is a smooth transition following the departure of a business partner, it is important that business

Stretch IRA – How Your IRA Can Survive Several Generations

The stretch IRA concept is a wealth-transfer strategy that can help you extend the period of tax-deferred earnings on your retirement assets. After the owner of the IRA dies, the beneficiaries will also have the longest allowable period of tax-deferral

Asset Protection

For the client who needs to protect assets, estate planning may include the use of asset protection trusts (such as foreign-situs trusts) that will put assets safely out of reach. Although there are potentially many reasons to use such vehicles,

New Tax Legislation Introduced: H.R. Bill 436 has Potential Changes to Estate and Gift Taxes and Available Discounts

H.R. Bill 436: Potential Changes to Estate and Gift Taxes and Available Discounts   On January 9, 2009, Bill 436 was introduced to the House by Representative Earl Pomeroy (D-ND). The bill, referenced as H.R. 436 and similar to other

Review Your Guardian Nominations Periodically

Celebrity deaths often highlight various estate planning issues as prior posts have discussed. Michael Jackson’s death brought public awareness to issues about choosing your executor and trustees, pour over wills, and guardianship. You may recall that Michael Jackson named his

Why should I go to the trouble of planning my estate and writing a will?

Estate planning pays real dividends—in results achieved, in dollars saved, and, most important, in security and peace of mind. And it doesn’t have to be expensive, traumatic, or even especially time consuming. An estate plan is your blueprint for where

Where Not To Die

New Jersey and Maryland levy both types of tax.

Estate Tax Revisit

There are many other viable estate-planning tools and techniques that should be discussed with your tax adviser, but the key is to plan ahead.

A Good Time To Review Estate Tax Plans: Decline in asset value prompts new strategies

Now is a particularly good time for business owners to think about estate tax planning.

Taking Advantage of Low Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve’s interest rate cuts haveaffected two important interest rates used inestate planning – the “applicable federal rates”(“AFRs”) under Internal Revenue Code §1274and the “7520 rate” under Internal RevenueCode §7520. AFRs are calculated and publishedby the IRS every month

Letter to Your Spouse

By Parag Patel, Esq. In addition to your estate planning, it’s a good idea to have a non-binding letter to your spouse, children and other heirs outlining where the important documents are kept and who to contact for help in

$3.5 Million Federal Estate Tax Exemption for 2009 Could Mean Higher State Death Taxes

If the federal exemption is greater than the state exemption, the difference may become subject to state death taxes.

Obama to Keep 2009 Estate Tax Level

President Obama wants to freeze the current estate tax level to $3.5 million which is the estate tax exemption amount for 2009.

Ten Things to Do to Prepare a Will for Probate

If you are the executor of a will there are many things you must do to get that will ready for probate. Probate means the process by which the deceased’s assets are gathered; outstanding debts, taxes, and expenses of the

Estate Planning When a Spouse is Confronting Health Issues (Estate Planning for the Healthy Spouse)

When one spouse is a resident of a nursing facility or medical institution (the “institutionalized spouse”), but the other spouse continues to live in the community (the “community spouse”), the community spouse may take a number of steps to retain

A great time for GRATs

The rate is the lowest it has been since the inception of the 7520 rate in May 1989.

2009 Tax Update

A few things have changed with the coming of a new year—below are some tax items to be aware of. Estate and gift taxes: The basic federal estate-tax exemption increased to $3.5 million from $2 million in 2008. The increase


New Jersey law provides how your Estate will be distributed if you do die without a Will. The property referred to in this section deals with assets in the decedent’s name alone. A)If you die leaving a spouse or domestic

Estate Planning and Life Insurance Trusts

By Parag P. Patel, Esq. Few people realize that, even though they may have a modest estate, their families may owe the government hundreds of thousands of dollars because they own a life insurance policy with a substantial death benefit.

How to Stretch Your IRA Into a Family Fortune

  Your individual retirement account (IRA) can do much more than provide funds for your retirement — it can be stretched to provide millions of dollars in payouts to your children, grandchildren or others you choose to be beneficiaries. Example: