Berdon Blogs

Marco Svagna, CPA

Marco Svagna, CPA
Marco Svagna, CPA, is a Berdon tax partner with nearly 30 years of experience advising high net worth individuals and family/owner-managed business owners on estate and income tax issues, succession and financial planning, and other wealth preservation matters.

Recent Posts

T&E TALK: Greater Estate Planning Options Available to Same-Sex Married Couples

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Mar 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Last year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states affects estate planning for many same-sex married couples.

Now, like opposite-sex married couples, same-sex married couples may be able to take advantage of gift and estate tax breaks such as:

The marital deduction. This allows one spouse to transfer an unlimited amount of property to the other, during life or at death, without triggering federal gift or estate taxes (as long as the recipient spouse is a U.S. citizen). Also, certain estate planning vehicles, such as qualified terminable interest property trusts (or qualified domestic trusts for non-U.S. citizens), qualify for the marital deduction.

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: A Helping Hand - Addressing Your Parents in Your Estate Plan

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Feb 8, 2016 11:00:00 AM

The “sandwich generation” – those who are caring for both their children and their parents at the same time – comprise a large segment of the population. As a result, estate planning — which traditionally focuses on providing for one’s children — has expanded in many cases to include one’s aging parents as well.

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: Direct Tuition Payments: An Attractive Option for Funding Your Grandchild's College Education

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Jan 18, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Making direct tuition payments is just one strategy available for funding your grandchild’s college education while minimizing taxes.

As the cost of a college education continues to soar, you can help fund your grandchild’s higher education by making tuition payments on behalf of him or her. As long as you make the payments directly to the college, the payments avoid gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax without using up any of your annual or lifetime gift or GST tax exclusions or exemptions.

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: The New Year a Perfect Time for Estate Planning Checkup

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Jan 4, 2016 4:43:51 PM

An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan. The following chart indicates changes in exclusions and exemptions for 2016 that may be enough to necessitate an update to your estate plan:

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: Protecting Your Retirement Savings from Creditors

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Dec 14, 2015 9:50:06 AM

Estate planning and asset protection go hand-in-hand. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you have no wealth to share with your family. If you have significant assets in employer-sponsored retirement plans or IRAs, it’s important to understand the extent to which those assets are protected against creditors’ claims.

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK:  Estate Tax Planning for Unmarried Couples

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Dec 7, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Unlike married couples, who can take advantage of the marital deduction, unmarried partners can’t transfer unlimited amounts to each other tax-free. To reduce their estate tax bills, they must take some additional steps.

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: Art Appraisal Critical for Donation Purposes

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Nov 30, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Valuable works of art may be ideal candidates for lifetime charitable donations. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated property because, in addition to reducing your taxable estate and garnering an income tax deduction, you avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciation. Because the top capital gains rate for art and other “collectibles” is 28%, donating art is particularly effective.

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: Irrevocable Trusts for the Young and Wealthy

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Nov 16, 2015 7:00:00 AM

With no crystal ball, it is impossible to predict one’s wealth and net worth decades into the future. Yet for the young and affluent, those who have been born into wealth or have achieved great wealth at an early age, it is never too early to design an estate plan.

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: Tax Planning with CRTs

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Oct 19, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Having a charitable remainder trust (CRT) as part of your estate plan can help ensure your financial future while allowing you to make a charitable donation.  How does a CRT work?

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Topics: T&E TALK

T&E TALK: Focus Shifting to Income Taxes in Estate Planning

Posted by Marco Svagna, CPA on Oct 5, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Estate planning strategies have typically focused on minimizing federal gift and estate taxes, which can be accomplished by giving away assets during your lifetime to reduce your taxable estate. Recently, that focus has shifted and income taxes have taken on increased importance.

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Topics: T&E TALK

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