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Mediation offers an alternative to litigating the growing number of trust, estate and probate disputes and is designed to keep clients out of court, reduce legal costs and preserve family relationships.
As we approach the end of 2012, and with the holidays upon us, many Americans will be giving gifts in December by way of a check. This year is unique because the Fiscal Cliff is also upon us. Some people will be writing very large, multimillion-dollar checks to family members with the hopes of taking advantage of favorable tax conditions in advance of the Fiscal Cliff. Those taxpayers may become victims of their own generosity.
Congress has given many business owners an incredible tax bonus by increasing the lifetime gift tax exemption amount to more than $5 million, but only until the end of this year. Barring additional legislative action, that exemption will expire and be reduced to only $1 million. This gift tax exemption level provides many business owners an unprecedented opportunity to pass on the family business free of exposure to wealth transfer taxes.