Are Holiday Gifts Subject to Federal Gift Tax?

Web Admin - Thursday, December 21, 2017
Barrington estate planning and tax lawyerThe holiday season is a time of giving, but as you celebrate this time with your family and friends, you may need to be aware of a certain omnipresent aspect of American life: taxes. While it will likely only apply to people who earn a high income or have large financial assets, it is still a good idea to understand the Federal gift tax and the impact it may have on the gifts you give and your estate.

What Is the Gift Tax?

When a person transfers property to someone else without receiving something of equal value in return, this is considered a gift by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and it may be subject to gift taxes. The person who gives the gift to someone else (known as the donor) is responsible for filing tax forms for the gift and paying the gift tax.

Gift Tax Exclusions

Certain types of gifts are excluded from taxes, including gifts given to one’s spouse, gifts given to a political organization, and tuition or medical expenses paid on someone’s behalf. For other gifts, an annual exclusion threshold applies. That threshold is $14,000 for 2017, and the threshold for 2018 will be $15,000.

The annual exclusion applies to gifts given to an individual person, so if a donor gives multiple people gifts of less than $14,000 each, they will not owe any gift taxes. For spouses, the exclusion is doubled, so a married couple can give a gift of up to $28,000 without owing gift taxes.

In addition to the annual exclusion, everyone is entitled to a lifetime exemption known as the basic tax exemption. For people who die in 2017, that exemption is $5,490,000, and in 2018, the exemption will increase to $5,600,000. The taxable amount of gifts greater than the annual gift tax exclusion threshold can be applied toward this lifetime exemption, and taxes will not be owed on these gifts. However, any amount of the basic exemption used during one’s lifetime will be deducted from the amount of their estate that is exempt from estate taxes upon their death.

Contact a Schaumburg Estate Planning Attorney

Determining how gift taxes will affect your finances and your estate can be a complex undertaking. If you want to make sure you are protecting yourself and providing for your family’s financial security, the skilled attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can work with you to ensure you have met your legal requirements and have the financial resources in place that your family needs. Contact our Rolling Meadows estate planning attorneys today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act: Illinois Provides Guidance on What Happens to Your Digital Assets After Death

Web Admin - Thursday, September 15, 2016
Barrington IL estate planning lawyersDigital assets, such as email accounts, online banking accounts, phone and computer applications, photos stored in cloud accounts, and digital music have been a legal thorn in the sides of families and estate executors. Many loved ones simply overlooked or failed to consider the importance of granting access to these digital accounts in their estate plans, and their executors were left with no form of legal recourse when it came to gaining that access. Others permitted access but failed to keep their information updated, or had their accounts closed upon death. In these instances, too, executors were denied access.

Sadly, this lack of access created numerous problems for estate executors. Final bills went unpaid. Precious family photos were lost. Wishes could not be fulfilled. Illinois has finally stepped in and provide a provision for estate executors. They may now access digital assets, with or without explicit permission, giving them the ability to close out the estate in a timely and efficient manner. However, this new law also has its drawbacks for the deceased. Understand what the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act means for your estate, and learn what precautions you may want to take.

Why an Executor May Need Access to Your Digital Assets

The executor of your estate – generally a person who is close to you (an adult child, a spouse, a parent, etc.) – is tasked with wrapping up your affairs upon your death. They take care of your final expenses, notify any potential beneficiaries, obtain death certificates, sell any property that is not going to be distributed, and close up all other matters of your estate. At first glance, access to your digital accounts may not seem necessary for completing these tasks, but there may be some “loose ends” that they may need to tie up online. For example, your executor may need to:

- Pay your bills online,

- Obtain phone numbers and/or addresses stored in online accounts,

- Make administrative changes to a blog or social media account,

- Terminate subscriptions that may continue to incur costs,

- Pay or manage insurance premiums, and

- Access online storage accounts to print or transfer important photographs.

How the Act Ensures Executors Have Access to Your Accounts

There are two ways that you can provide easy access to your online digital accounts. You can either use the online tool, which gives you a way to disclose (or not disclose) important account information, or you can provide instructions within your will. You can prohibit access to accounts that you do not wish anyone to access, and you can leave final wishes on how the information will be used. Your executor does not have an “all access” pass. The things they do should still be in your best interest, and they do not receive expanded user rights under the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets.

If you do not disclose information to an account, your executor can press the account custodian for access. This is not the optimal option, however. The custodian can grant only partial access, which may leave important assets out of your executor’s reach. Alternatively, your executor may be granted access to an account that you wanted to remain private or undisclosed. For this reason, every person should consider including a digital asset provision in their estate plan. Contact an experienced estate planning lawyer to ensure yours is properly and effectively executed.

Contact Our Barrington, Illinois Estate Planning Lawyers 

When it comes to crafting an estate plan, there are many considerations to make. Your digital assets are just one. The experienced Barrington, Illinois estate planning lawyers at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC provide the knowledge, experience, and insight you need to ensure your wishes are carried out within the guidelines of the law. Get started today by calling 847-934-6000 to schedule your consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Recent Posts


Barrington workers compensation attorney healthcare claims ken apicella compensatory time Self-Directed IRA Accounts Affordable Care Act Arlington Heights lawyer insurance denial appeals Barrington civil litigation attorney defective products agent Long Grove estate planning TBI Barrington employment attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer Inverness elder law lawyer digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, cell phone Palatine drug lawyer automated cars trucking accidents insurance claim Des Plaines criminal attorney Crystal Lake will lawyer insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys privacy laws speeding Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Chicago lawyer Palatine civil litigation lawyer startup company Barrington injury attorney Des Plaines collections attorney creditors insurance negligence Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Crystal Lake car accident attorney tax attorney Inverness civil lawyer Transfer on Death Instrument School Visitation Rights Act Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer Schaumburg estate attorney estate planning trusts Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Schaumburg corporate attorney Illinois pedestrian accident attorney reckless homicide drunk driving probate Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers disability benefits real estate Illinois business lawyer Illinois DUI attorney license suspension pedestrian accident BAC Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Illinois estate planning law firm pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Inverness accident lawyer Illinois trusts attorney IRA trust transfer Home Remodeling Repair Act Buffalo Grove corporate attorney estate plan Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys wills and trusts motorcycle accident lawyer defective products lawyer Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer distracted driving accidents accidental death benefits insurance claim dispute attorney foreclosed rental property Crystal Lake car accident lawyer pet bites BAIID construction contracts Class A misdemeanor drug crimes dynasty trusts marijuana digital information unauthorized overtime dog bites Des Plaines real estate lawyer Mount Prospect real estate lawyer health insurance dispute medical research federal crimes Employment Discrimination Law condo underage DUI estate tax Barrington estate planning attorney Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer IRELA Illinois LLC creation Chicago biking tips Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Do Not Resuscitate lapse in policy deed transfer federal regulations for LLCs Illinois home inspection Illinois will lawyer Illinois insurance claims lawyers Palatine criminal defense lawyer employees independent contractor Illinois tax attorney Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Schaumburg personal injury attorney real estate leasing Forcible Entry boating under the influence real estate attorney Inverness probate lawyer pay when paid contract insurance dispute attorney Deer Park traffic accident attorney holiday statistics Crystal Lake employment law attorney operating agreements boating accidents Des Plaines injury law firm insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Barrington litigation attorney bad faith insurance claims Whistleblower Claims Illinois collections attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer pet law Illinois insurance lawyer bike accident Illinois construction accident attorney Barrington attorney Chicago estate planning Palatine corporate law attorneys estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Rolling Meadows insurance attorney cell phone tower data loopholes Illinois employment law Kenilworth estate planning attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney Arlington Heights estate planning attorney civil litigation attorney Barrington business law firm Deer Park criminal attorney capital gains tax Illinois rollover accident lawyers Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Illinois personal injury attorney Illinois mortgages Palatine trusts lawyer llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association drug crime Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Illinois job attorney Chicago insurance law firm no contest clauses guardianship attorney liens Illinois probate lawyer Illinois insurance disputes medical malpractice compensation murder charges drug possession Barrington personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys in terrorem provision severance agreements blended families preventing accidents college kids Illinois defective products attorney Illinois Trust Code real estate contract Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Chicago insurance claim attorneys suspended license Schaumburg life insurance attorney unpaid overtime probate lawyer manufacturing murder defense Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Buffalo Grove law firm Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Illinois medical malpractice attorney bicycle dooring accidents Inverness corporate attorney Mount Prospect elder law attorney Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Schaumburg employment law attorneys traffic deaths Illinois attorney Illinois Sales Representative Act Detainer Actions Palatine business attorney mass shooting Illinois medical malpractice case commercial leases Chicago employment lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm spinal cord injuries Super Mario Schaumburg Attorney estate attorney Palatine construction attorney Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission business litigation Palatine elder law attorney Palatine estate planning lawyer natural gas ObamaCare gift taxes golf accidents product liability Schaumburg criminal law attorney probate process Liquor Control Act Palatine personal injury lawyer DUI Colin H. Gilbert trust payments pain and suffering Buffalo Grove traffic attorney civil litigation Illinois traffic accident lawyer Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Illinois elder law attorney loss of consortium residential real estate Illinois injury lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer traffic violations fiduciary rule POA liability claims Deer Park real estate law firm car accident truck collisions Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Rolling Meadows life insurance claim denial attorney Illinois traffic laws Palatine civil attorney Illinois personal injury claims Schaumburg wrongful death attorney field sobriety test new real estate form caregiver denied insurance claims Illinois pet lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers material misrepresentation Palatine employment law lawyer Chicago corporate attorney estate planning attorney employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, life insurance claim denial, denial of life insurance claim Arlington Heights personal injury attorney trustee Illinois workplace discrimination attorney IRA benefits Illinois personal injury lawyers traffic tickets denial of insurance claim Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Illinois employment law attorneys Inverness traffic law firm Crystal Lake traffic attorney Illinois speeding lawyer Rolling Meadows hit and run accident living trust Des Plaines civil attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney icy parking lots Chicago employment attorney underfunded trust forming a corporation in Illinois Barrington criminal lawyer Palatine Attorney criminal Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys caretaker rights employee discrimination Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Rolling Meadows business lawyer Deer Park personal injury lawyer ACA car accident lawyer Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer estate planning for college students DUI penalities Illinois medical malpractice claim elder abuse Illinois medical malpractice lawyers personal injury attorney workplace sexual harassment Barrington real estate lawyer overtime pay denied insurance claim rollover car crashes Illinois employee rights attorney. real estate attorneys Illinois law wage theft Illinois jet ski accident lawyer cell phone accidents Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Palatine injury attorney Schaumburg insurance lawyers Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer traffic offenses digital assets Rolling Meadows employment attorney installment contracts Des Plaines personal injury lawyer child safety paid sick leave Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney coronavirus Deer Park traffic lawyer employee rights Barrington drug crime attorney Des Plaines personal injury attorney Colin Gilbert trauma after an accident Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers subcontractor most common reasons for life insurance claim denials Crystal Lake traffic lawyer owner responsibility wrongful death Illinois workplace lawyer changes to mortgage law trench injuries Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Inverness personal injury attorney texting and driving Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Illinois real estate slip and fall job lawyers brain injury Barrington Traffic Lawyer Crystal Lake insurance lawyer auto accidents Chicago will attorney jet ski Palatine punch death Schaumburg Illinois estate planning Crystal Lake accident attorney power of attorney for healthcare Palatine real estate lawyer foreclosure expungement personal injury accidents traffic violations defense distracted driving accident victims Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act personal injury claim digital evidence gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Illinois wills and trusts Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer BUI insurance disputes breach of contract medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Illinois driving without license rollover accidents modern family estate planning Illinois estate planning attorney living trust vs will employment lawyer DNR beneficiary complications DUI attorney power of attorney trusts wrongful termination social media after death crossover accidents Schaumburg drug defense lawyer consent to a search murder estate planning hands free device criminal defense meal breaks Des Plaines Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents insurance dispute Palatine employment lawyer head on collisions sexual images Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Schaumburg employment attorney Crystal Lake business law attorneys clemency swimming pools blood alcohol content home inspection lawyer personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys insurance claim denial condo association Crystal Lake employment attorney landlord IRS Policy Cancellation minimum wage Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer employment law Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Crystal Lake pet attorney car collision Crystal Lake employment lawyer traffic laws Schaumburg real estate lawyer dealing with problem employees trucking accident lawyers Illinois workers compensation lawyer Home Sale Contingencies insurance claim denials attorney fees top life insurance claim denials Barrington employment law firm Mt Prospect Attorney liability license Schaumburg probate attorney sexual harassment Illinois registered agent Barrington employment law attorney anesthesia errors Palatine life insurance lawyer Inverness injury lawyer contracts Family Medical Leave Act Arlington Heights criminal lawyer institutional trustee Illinois employment attorneys traffic crimes Schaumburg estate planning attorney Chicago life insurance attorney estate planning lawyer Fair Labor Standards Act Barrington medical malpractice lawyers wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer how to avoid common denials of life insurance claims Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney revenge porn Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois corporate lawyer license reinstatement Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Arlington Heights injury attorney estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers vacation home fines pizza emoji Retaliatory Discharge Deer Park DUI lawyer insurance adjusters workers compensation benefits Thanksgiving Illinois insurance dispute lawyers traumatic brain injury motorcycle accident Palatine law firm small business wills jet ski accidents unpaid assessment Arlington Heights trucking lawyer natural gas explosion drunk driving statistics Attorney Ken Apicella living trust benefits Illinois car accident attorney overtime violations DGAA Illinois Smoke Detector Act rest breaks fiduciary rule delay drug crimes lawyer Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer slip and fall accidents Crystal Lake law firm Palatine corporate attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer mortgage Chicago trucking accident attorney life insurance lawyer Palatine workers compensation lawyer first degree murder employment contract underinsured motorist rent to own real estate contracts DMV digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers insurance claims medical marijuana employee misclassification Des Plaines personal injury lawyers privacy personal injury lawyer marijuana crimes attorney Des Plaines real estate attorney Illinois employment law attorney Arlington Heights TBI attorney Arlington Heights accident attorney Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Arlington Heights real estate lawyer life insurance Palatine probate lawyer vacation home Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer employment law, Illinois employment laws life insurance policy Palatine traffic accidents Illinois traffic ticket lawyer medical malpractice Des Plaines pet law attorney commercial leasing Des Plaines DUI attorney Arlington Heights tax lawyer car accident lawyers elder law Illinois traffic attorney income distribution deducation Inverness real estate lawyer construction accidents medication errors commercial real estate criminal record Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney senior citizens traffic accidents preventable medical errors dram shop law insurance attorney sole proprietorship involuntary manslaughter pedestrian-automobile accident Illinois real estate lawyer healthcare Illinois personal injury spinal cord injury advance healthcare directive Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer special needs trust Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance insurance agent negligence GM ignition switches Barrington criminal defense lawyer uninsured motorist comp time Crystal Lake tax lawyer pregnant women Joliet general practice lawyers Chicago estate planning lawyer Illinois traffic attorneys Palatine insurance lawyer Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney real estate zoning medical malpractice claims employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys LLCs Schaumburg elder law lawyer Illinois employment law firm whistleblower protections Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys license revocation fatal car accidents Barrington estate planning lawyer Des Plaines tax law firm premises liability personal injury Long Grove real estate lawyer Illinois living will corporate law Illinois small business Illinois lawyer Arlington Heights car accident lawyer irrevocable trust Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Deer Park accident attorney Illinois business law atorneys landlord tenant law taxes fault based insurance Buffalo Grove life insurance attorney Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney hiring employees Inverness real estate attorney workers comp Illinois Human Rights Act Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, investment property Rolling Meadows Attorney CAM FMLA right to work probate fees Deer Park employment law attorney Barrington boating accident attorney Des Plaines accident attorney financial advisors insurance claim dispute Long Grove estate planning attorney filing a medical malpractice claim eluding a police officer Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Exclusions drugs Inverness DUI lawyer back injuries cause-of-death exclusions Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Illinois workers compensation attorney deadly crashes life insurance claims traumatic brain injuries FSLA Schaumburg estate planning lawyer surgical mistakes Long Grove real estate attorney Chicago attorney insufficient documentation Des Plaines insurance attorney insurance claim delay Palatine traffic lawyer civil rights violation PTSD food poisoning rumble strips unfunded trust bicycle accidents Illinois trucking safety Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Barrington life insurance lawyer Chicago traffic lawyer car crash injuries Illinois civil litigation lawyer Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer South Barrington real estate lawyer Arlington Heights Attorney Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers car crash workers compensation breathalyzer test Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Palatine employment attorney construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument criminal law low-ball insurance settlement Jay Andrew Inverness estate planning lawyer Schaumburg car accident attorney Illinois insurance attorney Arlington Heights employment attorney personal injury law firm employment attorney Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Rolling Meadows real estate attorney living wills Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers boating DUI Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act nursing home negligence real estate lawyer problem employees homestead rights Schaumburg construction accident lawyer denial of life insurance Illinois employment laws comparative negligence real estate closing probate claims Legal Info internet Chicago car accident lawyer work unions Schaumburg civil litigation attorney appealing an insurance claim Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Illinois employment lawyer Illinois insurance claim attorney texting while driving Illinois boating accident lawyer Arlington Heights traffic attorney Illinois bicycle safety Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Rolling Meadows tax attorney car accidents pedestrian accidents controlled substance Inverness insurance attorney driving Fourth of July insurance denials Long Grove estate planning attorneys Illinois red light cameras Des Plaines claims law firm insurance agents probate claims process Schaumburg traffic lawyer products liability car crashes Arlington Heights car crash attorneys DUI defense Crystal Lake injury attorney South Barrington real estate attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Illinois criminal defense attorney