Preparing Clients for a Quick Estate Planning Pivot

High-net-worth clients recognize that they need to be prepared for sudden changes in tax laws and market valuations. But in the face of political uncertainty and market volatility, it may be difficult to choose which assets to transfer into trust, or determine fair market value. Attorneys and appraisers may be backlogged with similarly situated clients. Here are some tips for setting up trusts for estate planning with flexibility to pivot quickly as possibilities turn to actualities. 1. Use “intentionally defective” … Continued

Estate Tax Planning and the Often-Overlooked Power of the “Med-Ed Exclusion”

The current federal gift and estate tax rate is 40% and once an individual uses his or her lifetime exemption (currently $11.58 million and scheduled to drop to about half of that in 2026, perhaps sooner in light of election results) tax planning becomes difficult and complex. The only simple solutions are making charitable gifts and using the annual gift tax exclusion that allows an individual to make gifts of $15,000 per year to as many people as desired, provided … Continued

Building a SLAT in your estate plan

Spousal lifetime access trust, or SLAT, planning can provide powerful estate and tax planning opportunities – and perhaps one of the most popular techniques for married couples for the foreseeable future given the possible changes in the law post-election and to help pay for massive government bailouts due to the pandemic. The government raising revenue will be critical and ways to do so can include raising taxes, reducing federal estate tax exemption, increasing estate tax and other changes. SLATs are … Continued

How To Use Irrevocable Gift Trusts To Take Advantage Of Your Estate And Gift Tax Exemptions

Before the presidential election, many wealthy taxpayers were worried that a “blue wave” would mean a reduction of their $11.58 million estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions. That’s because the Democrats were expected to propose lowering those exemptions back down to the $3.5 million to $5 million range they were before President Trump signed the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Even though that blue wave was more like a blue ripple, it’s still possible that the Democrats could … Continued

Practical Estate Planning Tips That Are Often Overlooked

  So you have gone through all of the work to get your estate planning documents finalized, you have had your signing meeting with your attorney, and now it is time to celebrate that you are done, right? In most cases, the answer is not quite yet. There are few items that are often overlooked that are essential to truly finishing your estate plan. I have listed two of the most important items below: Check Your Beneficiary Designations – Immediately … Continued