You work your entire life to save and have enough money to comfortably retire—and ideally, leave something for your loved ones when you pass away.
During your life, you pay all kinds of taxes: income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and so on. And at the end, the government even wants to tax you on the assets you have left at your death.
This is known as the estate tax, sometimes called the “inheritance tax” or “death tax.”
The best way to protect your assets and your family's future from excessive taxation is to hire an attorney who specializes in estate tax planning. My firm can help you reduce—if not entirely avoid—the federal estate tax burden.
The estate tax is separate from federal income taxes, property tax, sales tax, and every other type of tax you've paid during your lifetime.
The estate tax is paid on the net value of all your assets owned at your death.
However, there are fairly sizable exemptions to the estate tax, so it's primarily high net-worth individuals and their families who are affected.
That said, the estate tax rate is a whopping 40% on your net assets, so if you do have an estate tax problem, we are talking about potentially massive sums of money your estate will owe the government before a single heir would enjoy a single penny.
Former President Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 nearly doubled the allowable exemptions to the estate tax, ensuring that even fewer families will be affected:
Estate tax exemption for individuals expanded from $5.4 million to $11.7 million.
Estate tax exemption for married couples expanded from $10.9 million to $23.4 million.
Unless your estate is valued at more than $11.7 million, you do not have to worry about the estate tax at this time.
But for those who are affected, there are numerous estate planning strategies available that can greatly reduce the amount owed. I can advise you on the best options for your family.
Some believe that the new Biden Administration will reduce the estate tax in the near future; however, nothing has been firmly established.
The point is, the estate tax changes on a regular basis, so proper planning is essential to avoid paying an estate tax.
Families with high-value estates face several complex legal and tax issues—and the estate tax is only one of them.
I offer a number of advanced estate planning strategies that are aimed primarily at reducing a family's tax burden. In addition to minimizing or eliminating the estate tax, I also help you leverage the advantages of gift tax and generation-skipping tax to pass assets on for successive generations without the risk of a tax liability decimating your estate at each generation.
Some of the most popular advanced estate planning tools and strategies include:
Life insurance trusts
Qualified personal residence trusts
Grantor retained annuity trusts
Asset protection trusts
Family limited partnerships or limited liability companies
You have worked hard to build your family's wealth and legacy, so it makes sense to put similar effort into protecting those assets after you are gone.
This includes protecting your assets against excessive taxes.
At your Family Wealth Planning Session, we can go into detail about how you can minimize the potential tax burden faced by your family so that you can maximize the inheritance you pass on to your loved ones.