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AVOID Dental Neglect by Vishant Nath, DMD

It’s an unpleasant feeling to find out that your child needs dental treatment. As parents, we all hope for the dentist to declare our children to be cavityfree and compliment their oral health at each six-month check-up. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

NEW ESTATE & GIFT TAX RULES For 2013

by Chris Miller, Esq.

Dr. Vishant Nath is the owner of Canton/Roswell Pediatric Dentistry. You may contact him at (678) 3521090 or visit www.kidshappyteeth.com.

If the dentist finds that your child needs dental treatment, make sure that you understand exactly what treatment is required, and why. Ask as many questions of your dentist as you need to in order to feel comfortable with the treatment plan going forward. If you are still unsure, get a second opinion right away. If your child requires extensive dental treatment, your dentist should be able to give you options for completing it. Your child may benefit from completing the treatment all in one appointment or breaking the treatment up into several appointments. Other options may include the use of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), oral conscious sedation, I.V. sedation, or general anesthesia in a hospital. Learn about all of these options and work with your dentist to make the best decision for your child. Even relatively minor dental treatment, which can usually be taken care of in a single appointment, should not be put off. Dental diseases (such as cavities, periodontal disease and other dental conditions) require dental treatment to improve oral health. If not treated, these conditions will usually get worse over time. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines dental neglect as “the willful failure of a parent or guardian to seek and follow through with treatment necessary to ensure a level of oral health essential for adequate function and freedom from pain and infection.” Obviously, no parent wants to be responsible for neglecting their child’s health care needs. But the bottom line is that we, as parents, are ultimately responsible for the health — including dental health — and safety of our children. There are many reasons why a parent might put off dental treatment for their child. There may be financial issues that prevent a parent from following through on treatment. continued on page 64 North Fulton | march 2013 10 My

New Year’s Day was exciting for estate planners this year. We saw a new law pass through both houses of Congress in a single day, and we also saw some new gift tax limits go into effect because of inflation adjustments. For example, the cap on what a person can give each year without gift tax consequences increased to $14,000.

Chris Miller is an attorney at Robinson & Miller, P.C. Attorneys at Law. He can be reached at (770) 817-4999 or by emailing cmiller@robinsonmiller.com. www.robinsonmiller.com

International married couples also have some unique tax planning challenges. If one or both spouses are not U.S. citizens, then they lose some of the deductions that apply to citizens. In other words, you can give an unlimited amount to your spouse during your lifetime or at death provided that he or she is a U.S. citizen. However, you cannot make a lifetime gift above $143,000 during 2013 to a non-U.S. citizen spouse without creating a taxable gift. Likewise, an inheritance received by a non-U.S. citizen spouse is not eligible for the marital deduction for estate tax purposes — which means that his or her inheritance uses up the estate tax exemption of the deceased spouse. Lastly, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 made three changes to the way we figure estate and gift taxes: 1. The estate tax exemptions of 2010, 2011 and 2012 were made permanent. That exemption caps the amount each person can freely transfer during life or at death to an inflation-adjusted $5 million, or $5,250,000 in 2013. The exemption had been scheduled to drop back to $1 million, but few in Congress wanted that to happen. 2. The estate tax rate paid by estates with a value above the exemption is now 40 percent. That is up from the 35 percent tax rate we had last year, but less than the 55 percent tax rate scheduled to apply if there were no compromise. 3. Congress also made permanent a surviving spouse’s ability to make use of the exemption that was not used up by a deceased spouse. This “exemption portability” is not automatic. After a spouse dies, the surviving spouse must still file a fairly detailed tax return, identifying how much exemption is being reserved for future use. www.footprintspublishing.com

03/13 North Fulton  

My North Fulton Monthly March 2013

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