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Estate and Fiduciary Tax Returns and Planning

To make sure everything you’ve worked hard for is passed along to the beneficiaries you care about, estate planning is essential. Estate planning protects you, your family, business partners, and organizations you would like to leave your assets to. The estate planning experts at HMC can help put your mind at ease.

Many people think taxes are the primary component in estate planning, but that is only one part of a larger plan. An estate plan also takes into consideration:

  • How your business will be valued
  • How you will be succeeded
  • How the business will be disposed of
  • How your spouse will meet future financial needs
  • How you will provide for a financially spend-thrift child
  • How your assets will be controlled, and whether your wishes will be honored

An estate plan created by you and your advisors at HMC will anticipate problems before they happen and allow you to control how your assets are handled after you’re gone. Working with your attorney and other professional advisors, we act as the “project manager” to ensure maximum benefits at the lowest overall cost.

Estate Tax Returns

The best time to work on the estate tax return is while you are alive. Plan your estate so that your assets are distributed where you want them and you have taken care of your beneficiaries in the best way possible.

Following a death there can be family issues, the practical matters of handling estates, which need to be discussed. We can help. Many times, executors need help with how to organize the estate matters and what to do to begin handling the estate. We have years of experience offering this assistance in practical, clear, non-technical language.

When we begin to work on a return with the family, we will meet with the executor to discuss the estate and assist them in the probate process. We will review the will with them and discuss the estate administration, beginning with a discussion of the assets and assisting with getting their valuation. We will also discuss any potential tax elections and post mortem tax planning.

Currently, planning for the portability of the exemption of the deceased spouse’s unused exemption is a very important estate planning tool. Without knowing to do this, millions of dollars of exemptions can be wasted, causing huge tax increases. Filing estate tax returns for estates that currently do not have taxes might seem counter intuitive, but it can be a significant tax saver.

Fiduciary Tax Returns and Planning

A fiduciary return is any return for a trust or an estate. These are not business returns, but those which typically have beneficiaries and someone who is in charge of taking care of the assets and payments (the fiduciary) to those receiving income or principal from the trust or estate (the beneficiary). For more than 40 years, we have worked extensively in this complex area, and our experience and expertise helps us time expenses so beneficiaries do not risk losing deductions.

tax terms can
make tax
less stressful.

Go to our Tax Resources page and review the tax term glossary
view tax term glossary >

Our Tax Planning Guide is an up-to-date reference on the latest business and individual tax developments.

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