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Financial Word of the Week: Generation-skipping transfer tax

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Financial Word of the Week - Generation-skipping transfer tax

The generation-skipping transfer tax (GST tax) is a separate transfer tax that is imposed on certain transfers and may apply in addition to any gift or estate tax due. The purpose of the GST tax is to tax the transfer of assets passing to a person more than one generation beyond the donor (i.e., “skipping” a generation). This flat-rate tax is calculated at the maximum estate tax rate applicable at the time of the transfer. (In 2015, the maximum estate tax rate is 40 percent.) However, like the gift and estate tax, there are certain exemptions that may apply to help avoid or minimize the impact of the GST tax. For example, there is a lifetime exemption that allows you to transfer a certain dollar amount of assets without incurring this tax. In 2015, the exemption amount is $5,430,000. In addition, there is an annual exclusion available that currently allows for the transfer of $14,000 to any individual without the GST tax being imposed.

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One of the keys to the GST tax rule is that it is designed to only tax certain transfers – those involving a transfer of assets to a person one or more generations down the line. For family members such as grandchildren, this is straightforward. For example, a gift from a grandparent to a grandchild would skip the donor’s child’s generation and would, absent an applicable exemption, be subject to the GST tax. However, for non-family members, whether a transfer skips a generation is not always as apparent. For gifts to unrelated individuals, the Internal Revenue Code deems a gift to someone more than 37 ½ years younger to have “skipped” a generation and is therefore subject to the GST tax.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Gift tax annual exclusion

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Financial Word of the Week - gift tax annual exclusion

The gift tax is a transfer tax imposed on any gift you give someone during your lifetime. However, the Internal Revenue Code provides each individual with a gift tax annual exclusion. The annual exclusion is the amount of property one individual may give each year to another individual without incurring any gift tax consequences. This number is adjusted annually for inflation and is currently $14,000 per donor per donee in 2015. “Per donor per donee” means that each individual donor may give $14,000 each to as many individuals as the donor wishes. For example, in 2015, each parent can give to each of their three children $14,000 in gifts, for a total of $ 28,000 per child.

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Power of Attorney

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Financial Word of the Week - power of attorney

A durable power of attorney is a legal document where you as the “principal” designate an agent to handle the matters described in the document during your lifetime. A power of attorney is “durable” only if it provides that your agent may act even if you are disabled. In addition, there are many different kinds of power of attorney:

  • ordinary – revocable and automatically terminates upon the death or incapacity of the principal
  • springing – become effective only when needed, at some future date or upon some future occurrence, usually the principal’s incapacity
  • general – authorizes an agent to transact business for the principal
  • special – limits the agent’s authority to only a specified matter.
  • durable – remains in effect during the principal’s incapacity

Powers of attorney are central part of most estate plans, and provide a mechanism outside of court guardianships and conservatorships for management of your affairs. It can be a useful complement to a revocable trust, as the trustee would not have powers regarding assets not held in the trust. Rather, the agent can deal with assets held outside of the trust and other business that the trustee may not be able to handle, such as signing your income tax returns or dealing with a retirement asset.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Credit Shelter Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - credit shelter trust

A Credit Shelter Trust (also known as family trust, non-marital trust or bypass trust) is one that is usually employed as part of a married individual’s estate plan. Upon the death of the first spouse, it is funded with the estate tax exempt amount, sometimes referred to as the Unified Credit. Such a trust is often structured to provide benefits to a decedent’s surviving spouse, without triggering estate tax upon the second spouse’s death. Property in the credit shelter trust can then pass through to descendants upon the death of the surviving spouse with no estate taxes paid by the estate of either spouse. In 2015, the estate tax exempt amount is $5,430,000.

In light of the high exemption amount, it is always a good time to update your estate plan with your legal advisor.

 

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Estate Tax

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Financial Word of the Week - estate tax

If you’re an heir to a relative or friend’s estate, you need to know what an estate tax is AND realize that there’s a good chance it may not apply to you as it once would have in the past. Estate tax is a transfer tax imposed when someone passes away and leaves his or her assets to you. Currently, the federal government and 16 individual states charge an estate tax.

The federal estate tax rate is currently at 40 percent. Fortunately, the tax code allows all individuals to pass a certain amount of assets (either during their lifetime, at death or a combination of both) before those transfers are subject to the federal estate tax. This amount has jumped dramatically in the past 15 years, going from $675,000 in 2001 to $5,430,000 in 2015. As a result, many estates will not be subject to a federal estate tax.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Corporate Fiduciary

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Financial Word of the Week - corporate fiduciary

A corporate fiduciary is a financial institution that exercises fiduciary‡ responsibility for the benefit of an individual or individuals. Mostly commonly, it’s children and the elderly who need fiduciaries. A fiduciary exercises a high standard of care in managing another’s money or property. Fiduciaries can be known by many names – trustee, executor and conservator are a few common examples of fiduciaries in an estate planning context. For more, read our post on “What are fiduciaries and why do you need them?”

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Corporate fiduciary vs. individual fiduciary

Some of the advantages to hiring a corporate fiduciary over an individual fiduciary include gaining the institution’s financial expertise, neutrality, longevity, and high standard of care. Corporate fiduciaries have these pros:

  • many years of experience in managing and investing funds for clients,
  • no ties to any one beneficiary, and so will be in the best place to follow the grantor’s wishes,
  • longevity that eliminates concerns that death or disability of an individual fiduciary will  interfere with management of assets, and
  • will exercise a high standard of care, as they have internal safeguards and audits to ensure compliance to state and federal regulations governing fiduciary conduct.

Regardless of the nature of the role, the aim of a corporate fiduciary is to make the best financial decision for the beneficial owner of any assets under its supervision.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Charitable Remainder Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - charitable remainder trust

Conceptually, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) is similar to a charitable lead trust (CLT), except the payouts happen in the reverse order. In fact, a CRT is a trust that provides for distributions  to one or more individuals for a term specified under the terms of the CRT, with the balance passing to one or more charities at the end of the specified term.  The individuals generally receive an annual payment equal to a fixed annuity amount or a percentage of the trust assets valued annually.  The individuals will generally receive these payments either for a term of years (up to 20 years) or throughout the lives of one or more named individuals.

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Unlike a CLT, a CRT is considered a tax-exempt trust, and the trust itself does not pay any taxes. This allows the donor a current charitable deduction for contributions made to the CRT with the amount of the deduction being the present value of the remainder interest that will pass to charity. This makes a CRT a great vehicle for highly appreciated assets as the assets can be contributed to the CRT and the assets will not generate any tax to the trust when sold inside the CRT. However, it is important to note that the payments made to the individuals, may be subject to taxes at the individual level. Also, it is important to note that in order to receive the tax benefits and to qualify as a CRT, the IRS has placed certain restrictions on how a CRT must be structured, this is in part to ensure that a portion of the assets will in fact pass to the designated charities.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Charitable Lead Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - beneficiary

Last week, we told you what a beneficiary is and advice on how to name them in your will, trust or life insurance policy.

A charitable lead trust (CLT) is an irrevocable trust that provides an income interest to one or more charities with the remainder either reverting back to the donor, or passing to one or more individuals named by the donor. The charities generally receive an annual payment equal to a fixed annuity amount or a percentage of the trust assets valued annually.  The trust can be established for the charitable payout to last for a term of years, based on a measuring life, or a combination of the two. After the end of the charitable period, the remaining property will pass to the individuals as specified in the trust (frequently the family members of the donor). The grantor may qualify, depending on the arrangement, for a current income tax charitable deduction for the present value of the charitable gift.

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CLTs are a highly useful way to simultaneously support a charitable organization of the settlor’s choice while still retaining the assets long term for the use of the settlor or his beneficiaries.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Beneficiary

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Financial Word of the Week - beneficiary

The technical definition of a beneficiary is one who benefits from the act of another.  In the financial world, the term beneficiary is used in many contexts, generally to describe an individual or entity that is to receive an interest in property.

Some of the most common uses of the term beneficiary include:

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  • naming a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, retirement plan or IRA,
  • designating the individuals who are to receive an interest in property upon the death of the original owner (generally through the use of a Will or trust), and
  • using a transfer on death or pay on death designation on a financial account (such a s a checking account, savings account or investment account).

When you’re designating beneficiaries, you can generally name individuals, charities, organizations or trusts. You might even list a group of individuals, such as surviving family members.

Many financial advisors urge clients to review their list of beneficiaries as often as possible, but most importantly after a life-changing event in which their financial priorities may have changed. This may include a death of a loved one, birth, marriage, divorce, a significant change in the individual’s financial situation or a significant change to the tax law.

It’s important to be as specific as possible when naming beneficiaries to avoid any confusion once the benefactor passes away. You should state how the benefits are doled out if one or more beneficiaries are not able to receive their distribution. This could occur if a person lists four children as beneficiaries, with each listed to receive one-fourth of the estate. If one of those children passes away before the benefactor, it could affect the distribution process if clear conditional instructions have not been included. You should also consider whether you would like the named beneficiary to have complete access to the assets or if you would like to restrict access in some manner.  For example, for many assets it may be possible to name a trust as the beneficiary and have the trust provide for limited distributions to the individuals for their health, education, maintenance and support (or however the benefactor desires to limit the distributions).

Because the naming of beneficiaries can have a substantial impact on your financial and estate plan, it is important to visit with your attorney or financial planner to see what options are available and to determine how such designations impact your individual plan.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Mutual Fund

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Financial Word of the Week - mutual funds

A mutual fund is an easy way to invest your money and receive the benefits of a diversified investment portfolio. The fund is usually made up of multiple types of investments like stocks or bonds. The fund’s portfolio manager handles your money invested in the fund.

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Just like with any investment tool, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider.  Here’s a short list:

Advantages:

  • Investors with smaller amounts can get into the game. Your investment is affected by ups and downs of the market and may generate additional taxable income.  Remember, you are pooling your investment with a group of people who are all hoping to make a profit.
  • You are working with professionals who have your best interest in mind. Mutual funds bring diversification, meaning you can spread your money out into multiple investment strategies. The funds are usually very liquid as well, meaning you can access your money in a short period of time..

Disadvantages:

  • You don’t have control over the fund – the portfolio manager and the market do. It will be important to trust your portfolio managers in the decisions they will make for you and to carefully select funds based on your risk tolerance and investment time frame.
  • Management fees are most likely associated with the fund, so it is important to understand the fee structure. Another thing to consider is that you will not know the exact price of your fund before you invest or redeem. The price of most funds is determined once every business day after the market is closed and your trade is valued at that price.

If you want more information about mutual funds, we recommend doing some research through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissionor the Investment Company Institute.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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