The Trump administration has set out its framework for tax reform, which includes the goal of eliminating the estate and gift transfer tax. The Paradise (CA) Post’s recent article, “Some death tax advice,” provides some of the issues that will still need to be addressed, regardless of whether the estate tax is repealed.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.
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Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.
Reference: Paradise (CA)Post (October 13, 2017) “Some death tax advice”