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Ladimer Law Blog

Estate Tax Planning

While married couples have different priorities than their single counterparts, one thing is certain: anyone – whether they have a family or not – needs to think about estate tax planning. In fact, planning one’s own estate taxes as a single person might be more important than it is for a married couple. Why? As […]

Estate Administration, Estate Tax Planning

Do I Need to Think About Estate Tax Planning as a Single Person?

You’ve often heard that when it comes to gift-giving, it’s the thought that counts. Unsurprisingly, the IRS doesn’t agree. To them, all that matters is that gifts are properly reported and taxed. Gift taxes are only required on gifts of significant financial value, so many people will never have to pay them. But if your […]

Estate Administration, Estate Tax Planning

What to Know About Lifetime Gifts

Lifetime gifts

A new administration generally means new tax laws. So in these last few months, I’ve heard from many clients with questions about how the Biden presidency will affect them. I was recently asked about the potential repeal of the policy that allows step-up in basis, and wanted to share some thoughts with anyone who’s concerned […]

Estate Tax Planning

What to Know About President Biden’s Proposed Repeal of Step-Up in Basis

step-up in basis

The phrase “death tax” might send a little shiver down your spine. It sounds like something out of a futuristic sci-fi story, or maybe a horror movie about killer accountants. In reality, the U.S. tax code doesn’t specifically mention death taxes. Death tax is an umbrella term that’s colloquially used to describe taxes that kick […]

Estate Tax Planning

Is the Death Tax as Scary as it Sounds?

Death tax

When you give the perfect gift, you want to bask in the recipient’s excitement—not fill out a gift tax return. I know there’s a lot of confusion around the gift tax, especially around the holidays.  Federal gift tax law does require certain gifts to be reported and taxed, with the onus on the giver. Fortunately, […]

Estate Tax Planning

Answers to Common Gift Tax Questions

Gift tax

After years of helping clients navigate Massachusetts estate planning, I know how much stress and confusion the Massachusetts estate tax can cause Commonwealth residents. People tend to come to me armed with a lot of questions about exactly how this tax will affect them. Will my estate owe this tax? If I’m someone’s executor, what […]

Estate Tax Planning

Massachusetts Estate Tax Doesn’t Have to be So Confusing

Larimer massachusetts estate tax

The estate tax is a tax that’s levied on a person’s estate when they die and their assets are transferred to their heirs.  How much of what you’ve earned will go to estate taxes when you die? These taxes may cost some immigrant families more than they do other American families, so it’s critical to […]

Estate Tax Planning

Estate Tax for Immigrant Families

You didn’t get married for the tax perks – but, hey, it’s not like you’re going to turn them down. In this state, like many others, married couples can benefit from special tax provisions in a variety of areas, including the Massachusetts estate tax marital deduction. The deduction available to married American couples can help […]

Estate Tax Planning

Understanding the Massachusetts Estate Tax Marital Deduction

Massachusetts estate tax marital deduction

For years and years, you and your spouse have worked to provide for your children. Year after year – while you kept them clothed and fed, doled out advice and enforced rules – you were also providing for your kids by maintaining your life insurance policy or policies. When you die, the death benefits from […]

Estate Tax Planning

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts

irrevocable life insurance trusts

No one wants to think about losing their beloved parents. That’s as true of kindergarteners as it is of grown adults with families of their own. Children of all ages can handle some frank discussion about their parents’ estate planning, though, and in fact may be reassured to know that you’re on top of your […]

Estate Tax Planning

What Should You Tell Your Kids About Estate Planning?

estate planning

A new year means new resolutions, new calendars, new deductibles on your health insurance – and, of course, new tax law. The nuances of the current estate tax laws might not affect your daily life. But if you or a loved one die this year, the estate tax exemption for 2020 will suddenly become incredibly […]

Estate Tax Planning

What to Know About the 2020 Estate Tax Exemption in Massachusetts

Estate tax exemption 2020

If you’re like most people, your family is the most important thing in your life. It might be just you and one other person, or you might be part of a close-knit crew of dozens – whatever its makeup, your family is everything. Naturally you want to make sure your relatives are taken care of, […]

Estate Administration, Estate Tax Planning

A Family Trust Keeps Assets in the Family

Family Trust

Buying life insurance is supposed to be a way to provide financial security for the people you leave behind. If that expensive policy actually triggers an estate tax to be levied against your estate, is there any point in buying life insurance at all? The answer is yes, but only if you know how to […]

Estate Tax Planning

Will Your Life Insurance Push You Over The Estate Tax Threshold?

Estate Tax

Want to Protect Your Assets? You Need More Than a Will Would you be comfortable leaving town knowing that your home was locked up, but your garage door was wide open? Probably not. So why would you create a will that protects some of your assets and not take further action to protect the rest?

Estate Administration, Estate Tax Planning

Want to Protect Your Assets? You Need More Than a Will


Yachts, ski chalets, chartered jets, trusts: one of these things is not like the others. Contrary to popular belief, establishing a trust isn’t a luxury reserved for the ultra-rich. Yes, trusts are often used by the wealthy to shield assets and pass money from one generation to the next. That’s just one way that trusts […]

Estate Tax Planning

Trusts: Not Just for the Wealthy

The only thing that’s certain about death is that we’ll all face it eventually. But the hows, whens, wheres, what happens next – for most people, those are all uncertainties. While those existential questions have no answers, sorting out the financial consequences of your death is doable in the here and now.

Estate Tax Planning

Will My Spouse Have to Pay an Estate Tax If I Die First?


Could your loved ones use an extra $100,000? Creating a credit shelter trust could be one way to keep more money in your estate rather than losing it to estate taxes. Credit shelter trusts are related to marital deduction and estate tax laws. Here in Massachusetts, an estate worth less than $1 million is not […]

Estate Tax Planning

Credit Shelter Trust: What It Is and Why You Might Need It

Credit Shelter Trust

“…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” ~Benjamin Franklin As adults know too well, death and taxes truly are unavoidable. However, not all adults realize that tax liability doesn’t always end at death. Depending on what you own at the time of your death, the loved ones who […]

Estate Tax Planning

What Constitutes a Taxable Estate in Massachusetts?

Estate Tax Planning

How Estate Planning Can Save Your Loved Ones From Financial and Emotional Turmoil Later When was the last time you thought about your hot water heater? Unless you’ve had a recent problem, it’s probably been a while. Sure, it will break someday; hot water heaters generally only last 10 to 15 years. But life is […]

Estate Tax Planning

Estate Planning ROI: What’s the cost of NOT planning?

Half a century ago, reaching middle age without getting married made a person unusual. Today, being a single adult is totally normal: in 2016, 110.6 million American adults were unmarried, according to Census data. As happily single adults know, remaining unmarried means you get to call all the shots like where you vacation or what […]

Estate Tax Planning

The Importance of Estate Planning for Single Adults

Estate Planning