End of Year Planning 2018



Volume 1, Issue 2 December 1, 2018


The DiGiorgio Law Firm specializes in providing estate planning and elder law services to our clients, their families and their family owned businesses.  We are located at 258 Genesee Street, Utica, NY, 13502.  Our phone and fax numbers are 315-732-3155 and 315-266-1299 respectively.  Email contacts for the firm are as follows: pdigiorgio@digiorgiolaw.com for Phil DiGiorgio and ssmith@digiorgiolaw.com for Sugundia Smith.  Our new website may be visited at www.digiorgiolaw.com.


The legal services offered by the DiGiorgio Law Firm, PLLC include, * Wills and Trusts* Estate and Tax Planning *IRS Audits & Appeals*Long Term Care Planning*Medicaid Eligibility Planning & Medicaid Recertification *Probate Administration*Elder Law*Special Needs Planning*Guardianship Applications*Asset Protection Planning*Business Entity Formation*Business Succession Planning*Buy Sell Agreements *Real Estate Closings *Vehicle & Traffic Law Matters.


In this issue of the DiGiorgio Law Firm, PLLC Estate Planning Newsletter we are turning our estate planning spotlight on 5 end of year tax and estate planning ideas.


  1. Deduction for Medical Expenses. The 2017 Tax Act doubled the standard deduction, but it eliminates the ability or need to claim itemized deductions for many taxpayers:  However, if you or your spouse have significant medical expenses you may still benefit from choosing to itemize if your expenses for skilled medical care were in excess of 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for 2018.  The medical expense deduction will still be available for 2019 and subsequent years, but the threshold for claiming it will increase to 10% of adjusted gross income.


  1. Charitable Gifting from IRAs:

If you are over age 70 and you have a traditional IRA from which you are required to take minimum distributions each year (RMDs), in general you must pay income tax on the amount distributed to you.  However, even if your itemized deductions do not exceed the standard deduction, you may reduce your income by the amount of any gifts made directly to a qualifying charitable entity from your IRA.  In doing so, you can fulfill any charitable intentions you may have for the year, while meeting your RMD without incurring any tax on the RMD.  If you are charitably inclined and you have a traditional IRA, we recommend you consult with your tax advisor before making any charitable contributions.


  1. The Qualified Business Deduction for Small Business Owners:If you operate a small business, such as a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Partnership or an S Corp, consult with your accountant to determine if you qualify for a deduction of up to 20% of the qualified business income passed through to you from the business. This is a new deduction opportunity created by the 2017 Tax Act, which may lapse when the legislation sunsets after December of 2025 so take advantage of it while you can.
  2. 2017 Tax Act Increases Contributions to ABLE Accounts for Persons with Disabilities:

The 2017 Tax Act has increased the contribution limitation to ABLE accounts with respect to contributions made by the designated beneficiary.  The limitation on such contributions has increased.  Under the new rule, once the overall limitation of the gift tax annual exclusion amount ($15,000 in 2018) is made by another party, the disabled beneficiary may contribute an additional amount, up to the lesser of the federal poverty line for a one-person household or the individual’s compensation for the year.  This provision will sunset after December 31, 2025.

  1. Annual Exclusion Gifting:

You may gift up to $15,000 in cash or securities per person in 2018 without the need to file a gift tax return.  A married couple may gift up to $30,000 per person in 2018 without the need to file a gift tax return.  Although you may gift considerably more than this amount without incurring any gift tax, you should consult with a tax advisor before doing so to learn the most tax efficient manner of making your intended gifts.

Client Workshops

Come to our “Client Appreciation Night” scheduled for January 17th at 5:30pm, at the Historic Fort Schuyler Club, located at 254 Genesee St, Utica, New York. 

A free workshop on Administering Trusts will be presented, which will be tailored for the general public, but specific questions about individual trusts, will be welcome, time permitting.  In addition a great free dinner will be provided by the very capable staff at the Fort Schulyer Club.  Reservations are required and seating is limited so please call now to reserve your spot.


The DiGiorgio Law Firm also offers free client workshops on a variety of topics related to Estate Planning and Elder Law on the first and third Thursday’s of each month from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at the firm’s office located at 258 Genesee St. in Utica, NY.  If you know someone who would benefit from these programs, please feel free to invite them to attend!

Registration: Call Sugundia N. Smith at 315-732-3155, or email pdigiorgio@digiorgiolaw.com (Please indicate the session and number of attendees.)


RSVPs are a must as the dates, times, locations and the topics covered for these seminars are subject to change.

Join us and have your questions answered at our free Workshops!

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