The new estate tax law in the country doubles the exemptions that are available to a person after death, increasing  the amount to $11 million per person. Additionally, married couples are able to leave a combined $22.4 million worth of property without an estate tax being placed on it. This exemption is also be expected to increase by several hundred thousand dollars each year based on inflation. If estate tax law remains unchanged, however, the exemption will be cut in half beginning in 2026.

Reasons to Stick With Your Current Estate Plan

If your combined estate presently exceeds $11.2 million or if you expect this amount to be exceeded in the next few years, it is often a wise idea to stick with your current estate plan. You might also have other reasons to keep your current plan including children from former relationships. The best way to determine the advantages and disadvantages of revising your estate plan is to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who will be able to anticipate exactly how your current plan will be impacted.

Estate Planning Issues Related to Trusts

There are also new estate planning laws in the country that allow a surviving spouse to claim an $11.2 million estate exemption of a deceased spouse without creating a complicated trust. In some cases, your legal counsel might be able to write a new will that is flexible and allows your surviving spouse to create a tax-saving trust. Trusts are one of the most challenging aspects of estate planning law and many people discover that it is helpful to rely on the assistance of a seasoned estate planning attorney when dealing with these issues.

Advice to Reduce Estate Taxes

Some of the methods that you can apply to reduce the amount of taxes that are placed on your estate include the following:

  • The basis of property in a person’s estate is the fair market value of that property on the date of his or her death. In some cases, an executor might select an alternate valuation date. It is important to consider this value when estate planning.
  • If you are expecting an inheritance from any family members, it is often a wise idea for them to place their assets in a trust which allows asset to pass to beneficiaries without having to proceed through the probate process.
  • Inherited retirement assets are not taxable until they are distributed. As a result, it is often helpful to determine when is exactly the best time to transfer these assets.
  • Some people discover that one good element of estate planning is to give a portion of their inheritance to other people. A person could potentially offset taxable gains on his or her inheritance by making a donation to a charitable organization.

Contact an Oklahoma Estate Planning Attorney

This recent change in estate tax law is just one of the many complicated issues of which people who are interested in estate planning should be aware. By obtaining the assistance of experienced estate planning attorney Jim A. Lyon, you can make sure that you fully anticipate all potential obstacles. Contact attorney Lyon today for assistance.