Karen M. Stockmal Selected As Fellow Of ACTEC

Article Published: | By: Karen Stockmal
Categories: Estate Planning, KMS Law Offices Updates

KMS LAW OFFICES attorney Karen M. Stockmal has been elected as a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). ACTEC is a nonprofit national association of approximately 2,600 trust and estate lawyers. Eligibility for election as an ACTEC Fellow involves a rigorous set of criteria including a minimum of 10 years of experience in active practice in the field, receiving an AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and having made substantial contributions to the field of trusts and estates law through writing, teaching, and bar leadership activities. Lawyers meeting the criteria for selection are nominated for membership by Fellows of the College, and subjected to thorough review by both state and national membership selection committees prior to consideration by the Regents of the College.

Karen is a nationally published writer, frequent lecturer and an active member of the Philadelphia Bar. In 2014, she will serve as Chair of the Probate Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Karen received her undergraduate degree from Bucknell University, and her J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Term “Death Taxes” Can Mean Many Things

Article Published: | By: Karen Stockmal
Categories: Estate Planning, Estate Taxes, Federal Estate Tax, Federal Fiduciary Income Tax, Federal Generation Skipping Transfer Tax, Federal Gift Tax, Pennsylvania Fiduciary Income Tax, Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax

We hear the term “death taxes” in the news often, but rarely do we know specifically which taxes are being referenced. There are actually several different taxes which an estate attorney must consider when planning or administering an estate:

  • Federal Estate Tax – Currently, assets held at death in excess of $5.25 million are taxed at 45%.
  • Federal Fiduciary Income Tax – The income tax on assets held in an estate and/or trust during administration by the Executor or Trustee.
  • Federal Gift Tax – Currently, the value of assets transferred in excess of $5.25 million for less than adequate consideration is taxed at 45%.
  • Federal Generation Skipping Transfer Tax – Currently, any assets passing to a generation “lower” than a child (i.e. a grandchild or great-grandchild) are subject not only to Estate or Gift Tax if they exceed the exemption but also a Generation Skipping Transfer Tax of 45% in excess of $5.25 million (for a combined total tax of nearly 60%).
  • Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax – Has no exemption amount and rate is based on the identity of the beneficiary:
    • 4 1/2% for children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents.
    • 12% for transfers to a sibling or step-sibling.
    • 15% for “all others” (nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc.).
    • Exempt beneficiaries: charitable organizations, institutions and government entities.
    • A transfer from a child twenty-one (21) years of age or younger to a natural parent, adopted parent, or stepparent is taxed at the zero rate.
    • A discount of 5% of tax due is allowed for whatever portion of the tax is paid within three (3) months.

  • Pennsylvania State Fiduciary Income Tax – The state income tax on assets held in a Pennsylvania estate and/or trust during administration (or one with taxable Pennsylvania property) by the Executor or Trustee.