Friday, September 19, 2014

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve renewed its pledge to keep interest rates near-zero for a “considerable time,” but the Fed also indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected.  In a statement after a two-day meeting of its policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed announced a further $10 billion reduction in its monthly bond purchases, leaving the program on course to be shuttered next month.  The Fed also released a new blueprint for how it plans to exit the extraordinary monetary stimulus it put in place to combat the 2007-09 financial crisis and recession.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The 7520 rate for October is holding steady at 2.2%.

The October 2014 Applicable Federal Interest Rates can be found here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

statuteofliberty  Update: New York State’s Department of Taxation and Finance recently released a summary of the changes made to New York’s estate tax law earlier this year which were previously reported on this blog.  As reported before these changes were rather significant and are worth repeating. (more…)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Originally Posted on

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in 202 J.C. Penney Conference Center at UMSL.

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and governing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization are flip sides of the same coin. Instructor Dan Sise knows that the steps you take in forming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation affect how your organization must operate in the future. And the steps you take in the governance and operation of your 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation affect your ability to maintain your 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS on an ongoing basis.

Come to this class to learn how to start a Missouri nonprofit corporation that will seek to obtain 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the IRS. In addition, this class will also cover good governance policies, strategies, and requirements that will allow your organization to maintain its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status on an ongoing basis once you are up and running.

This is an intensive 8 hour class that will focus on practical information and resources like forms to use, web sites to access, governmental offices to contact or be aware of, and a checklist of steps to take. The fee for this class includes lunch.

To register, see here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Originally posted on December 2, 2011 here.

You are allowed to give the gift of tuition to your children and grandchildren. More specifically, you can pay tuition to an educational institution on behalf of a loved one without triggering any gift tax or generation skipping transfer tax.

With the costs of education skyrocketing, more and more tuition bills are ringing in upwards of $20,000 or even $30,000 per year. Making gifts of that magnitude during life through tuition can save thousands down the road. At the end of a four year college education, the student graduates with a college degree, with less student debt, or perhaps even debt free, and you have gifted as much as $120,000 for the benefit of that student without paying any gift tax or generation skipping transfer tax! It may not be as tangible, but that is a much better deal than the sweater you were eyeing!

This tax-free tuition gift is not limited to paying college tuition and graduate school tuition. Often, nursery school, private elementary school, and high school tuition will qualify as well. So long as the primary purpose of the organization is formal instruction and the organization normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and has a regularly enrolled student body, the educational organization should qualify and you can pay the tuition as a gift.

Of course, there are some restrictions. The tuition must be paid directly to the qualifying institution. It may not go to the student, or to the student’s parents for reimbursement of tuition already paid. Also, the tax-free gift can only cover the actual tuition. It must not be used for room and board, books and supplies, or other expenses associated with the student’s education. Best of all, a gift of tuition has no impact on your ability to take advantage of other methods of gifting, like annual exclusion gifts, or lifetime cash gifts as discussed earlier in our Methods of Gifting post.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Originally posted on August 18, 2011 here.

It’s back to school time, and if you have college-age children, you’re probably busy helping them get organized to leave home.  While most packing lists include extra-long twin sheets and expressly forbid hotplates, there’s something else your budding intellectual shouldn’t leave home without: basic financial and medical estate planning documents.  If your children are over 18, federal privacy laws protect their financial and medical information.  Three basic estate planning documents will authorize you to act on behalf of your child, in the event that your child cannot make such decisions for him- or herself.

A Durable Power of Attorney for financial purposes designates an attorney-in-fact to act on your child’s behalf in all financial, tax, legal, investment, and insurance matters if your child becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to make decisions for him- or herself relating to those matters.  (more…)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The 7520 rate for September is holding steady at 2.2%.

The September 2014 Applicable Federal Interest Rates can be found here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

453779831 (1)In our previous posts, Estate Planning for Digital Assets and Bitcoins and other Hidden Assets, we discussed how to protect online assets with a digital estate plan.  Administering an estate with digital assets such as e-mail, online accounts, social media accounts, and online photo albums is an ever-growing issue among estate planners. As the digital age continues to grow, a client’s online presence has become another asset of value, but how such assets pass remains elusive to many. Although digital assets are a form of personal property, ownership rights and privacy controls are governed by a myriad of federal laws, state laws, privacy laws, copyright laws and intellectual property laws. (more…)

Monday, August 18, 2014

krsCongratulations to our own, Kathy Sherby, on being named “Lawyer of the Year” for her specialty in Trusts and Estates by Best Lawyers in America, the oldest lawyer-rating publication in the U.S.

Best Lawyers names a single lawyer in each specialty in each community as ‘Lawyer of the Year.’  Those honored have received particularly outstanding ratings in the surveys by earning a high level of respect among their peers for their abilities, professionalism and integrity.