Will Trump’s Tax Reform Affect My Estate Planning?

Death and moneyIf the estate tax is totally eliminated, this could be a game changer for those that are subjected to that “death tax”, but it still will not eliminate many of the most common estate planning mistakes.

The Trump administration has set out its framework for tax reform, which includes the goal of eliminating the estate and gift transfer tax.  The issues that will still need to be addressed, regardless of whether the estate tax is repealed.

Although saving estate taxes has been a major motivator for creating a revocable living trust, with federal taxes rarely an issue, state estate taxes may still apply.

Strategies utilized through the use of a trust may still be needed to limit the impact of state estate taxes. If you value privacy for yourself and your heirs, you should also consider a trust. A simple will or no will makes your life a public affair.

Think about who will inherit. You may need to address an inheritance for young beneficiaries, those with special needs and those vulnerable to other risks (such as addiction or financial improprieties).

Next, look at the way in which your assets are titled and your beneficiary designations. Don’t assume that assets will pass as desired. Documents can be drafted, but the actually re-titling of assets may not happen and your beneficiaries may need to be updated.

Every business owner needs to address what happens to her business if she passes away. Business succession planning can be extremely complicated and frequently requires the use of specific provisions within your estate transfer documents and specialized agreements.

Work with an experienced estate planning lawyer and do it right.

Reference: Paradise (CA)Post (October 13, 2017) “Some death tax advice”



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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.