Check Out the State’s Estate Tax Before Your Next Move

Tax-avoidance-170x170The federal estate tax might grab headlines, but many states also have estate taxes that people need to be aware of when estate planning. The state estate taxes often have lower exemptions, so avoiding them is desirable if possible.

Some people think they do not need to worry about estate planning very much these day. Why? Because they do not have enough assets for their estates to be subject to the federal estate tax.

That is a mistake, because there are many other reasons to have an estate plan besides the estate tax. It is also a mistake because many states have estate taxes of their own that require careful planning to navigate. With proper planning, these state estate taxes can almost always be avoided.

A recent Forbes article took on this topic in "Three Surefire Moves To Beat State Death Taxes," which recommend the follow tactics:

  • Move – Not every state has an estate tax, so you can move to a state without one. However, you need to be careful about appearing to have merely changed your address to avoid the estate tax. You need to make the move complete, and it is best to cut all ties with your former state.
  • Bypass Trusts – These are trusts created at the time of death of one spouse. The trust is usually funded with assets up to the state's estate tax limit. The rest of the estate goes to the surviving spouse. When that spouse passes away, the estate tax bill will be less. These are complex instruments and you will need an estate planning attorney to assist you.
  • Gifting – If you give assets away now, they will not be part of your estate and subject to the estate tax. However, make sure that you only do this after speaking to an attorney and accountant so that you do not face unnecessary tax problems.

Proper estate tax planning, whether at the federal or the state level, requires qualified estate planning assistance. This cannot be overemphasized. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

Forbes (October 16, 2015) "Three Surefire Moves To Beat State Death Taxes."


Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.