estate taxes

Estate Planning Advice for People Nearing Tax-Exemption Limits

Taxes are often said to be one of the few unavoidable parts of life. The degree to which you end up paying taxes, however, can change substantially. Even though it is currently set at $11.7 million for singles and $23.4 million for a married couple, the estate tax exemption is set to expire in 2026. Following the government’s decision to create various pandemic recovery programs, it is likely that tax rates will increase.  The uncertainty generated by estate tax exemptions means that anyone with over $5 million in assets is likely to be curious about various strategies that can be utilized to minimize taxes. The following reviews some estate planning strategies that you might consider if you are close to estate tax exemption limits.  Make the Most of Annual Exclusions One of the best ways to reduce your taxable estate is to maximize your annual exclusion limit, which is currently set at $15,000 a year for each individual who receives a gift. Remember, it is possible to make gifts to as many people as desired provided the amount is less than $15,000 without facing tax consequences.  Set up an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust An irrevocable life insurance trust involves a [...]

2021-05-05T03:02:49+00:00Tags: , , |

Making the Most of Federal Estate and Gift Exemptions

As of January 2021, a person in the United States is permitted to pass on $11.7 million and a married couple can distribute $23.4 million without being subject to any estate or gift taxes. A sunset clause written into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as well as the results of the 2020 elections, however, place this amount in danger of being substantially reduced.  If financial circumstances justify utilizing this exemption, you should consider taking these actions now so you do not end up facing substantial estate taxes on your assets in the future. The Risk that These Exemptions Will Disappear These current exemptions are in danger of going away both due to exiting tax law as well as the aftermath of the 2020 elections. Not only is it critical for those impacted by these exemptions to understand they will go away, but it is also necessary to perform adequate estate planning. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which was passed in the final days of 2017 increased the exemption from $5 to $10 million.  The Act contains a sunset provision, as well. Provided that no actions are taken to extend the length of or keep this exemption, [...]

2021-02-08T17:58:09+00:00Tags: , , , |

The 2020 Presidential Election and Your Estate Plan

In 2020, many people had various parts of their lives changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With the United States presidential election scheduled for November 3 of this year, many of us are about to have our lives changed even more. As we anticipate this event, it is critical to review the terms of your estate plan. After all, estate plans should be reviewed periodically to make sure that the plan is capable of achieving your estate goals in a way that reflects existing laws. If you have not yet written your estate plan but are preparing to do so, you should create your estate plan in consideration of these potential changes. While there is no saying how the election will unfold, you can take the time now to make sure your estate plan accurately reflects any necessary changes.   How the 2020 Election Could Change Things   If the Republican Party prevails in the election, the party has proposed few changes and will instead maintain existing estate planning taxes as they are under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts. In contrast, if the Democratic party prevails in the election, they have proposed several critical changes to [...]

2020-09-25T15:51:06+00:00Tags: , , |

Potential Estate Tax Changes Due to the 2020 Election

While the date of the 2020 election comes closer, estate planning lawyers are informing clients to anticipate the various changes to estate planning taxes that are likely to occur regardless of which candidate prevails. The following reviews some areas of estate planning that are likely to change following the 2020 Presidential election.   Decreased Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions   Even if it does not change due to a shift in political administrations, the existing estate and gift tax exemption of $11,580,000 will decrease in 2026 to the much lower amount of $5,000,000. This exemption could lower in 2021, however, as part of Democratic tax reforms. Similarly, the current generation-skipping tax exemptions are $11,580,000 and Vice President Biden has suggested that this amount could be lowered to $3,500,000 per individual.   Increased Estate Tax Rates   Since 2013, the estate tax has been 40%. Taxpayers who passed away in 2011 or 2012, however, utilized an estate tax rate of 35%. Not too long ago, in the early 2000s, the estate tax rate was between 45% to 55%. While the Democrat Presidential Nominee is likely to decrease the estate and gift tax exemption, it is also likely that additional tax reforms [...]

2020-10-05T17:39:13+00:00Tags: |

Five Important Facts about Estate Planning and Taxes in 2019

There are many reasons to review your estate planning documents periodically. One event that should prompt you to pull out your estate planning documents is any revision made to the tax system. If you are reviewing your estate planning documents this year, consider the following tax issues that might impact you and your beneficiaries. Many Tax Exemptions are Only Temporary It is important to remember that several current tax exemptions are merely temporary. While the $11.4 million per individual transfer tax exemption is attractive, it will not last forever. After 2025, this exemption will return to $6 million per individual. This is not the only temporary part of the current tax code, however. It is critical for anyone planning for the future to create flexible estate planning strategies and consider these factors. An experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure that you are on the right track. IRA Beneficiaries If a person inherits an IRA, the distribution requirements depend on whether the beneficiary is a spouse or non-spouse. Spouses have the choice of rolling IRA assets into an inherited IRA or their own IRA accounts. Non-spousal beneficiaries are often required to either withdraw all funds from the IRA within five [...]

2019-10-11T15:00:40+00:00Tags: , |

The New Estate Tax Law

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 [...]

2018-02-06T21:54:25+00:00Tags: , , |