Take Control of Your Estate Planning Strategies

Take Control of Your Estate Planning Strategies

By Emma Johnson
On 08 Dec, 2016

    Before it’s too late

    Estate planning isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. Seen a morbid, most people scoff at the idea of estate planning and trusts is often dismissed as something reserved for the super-wealthy. However changes to federal Estate, Gift, and Generation Skipping Transfer (GST) Tax regulations could mean that now is the perfect time to get your affairs in order, before your family is penalized, or worse.

    Contact the team of family law and estate planning attorneys at the Gallardo Law firm to discuss estate planning strategies. Setting up a living will, last will and testament, revocable trusts, and exploring your tax and estate planning options now may mean your family’s security in the future.

    New tax exemptions effective in 2017 are as follows:

    $5,490,000 federal estate tax exemption, GST tax exemption, and lifetime gift tax exemption, up from $5,450,000 in 2016 and a 40% top federal estate tax rate.

    In 2017, the annual gift tax exclusion remains $14,000 as in 2016

    These changes potentially allow opportunities to create larger lifetime gifts if handled with the appropriate estate tax planning strategies could mean the smooth transfer of revenue generating assets to immediate family such as children and grandchildren.

    Don’t have $5 million dollars lying around? TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GIFT TAX ANNUAL EXCLUSION!

    While the gift tax amount per person remains at $14k per person, and $28K for gifts made by a married couple who agree to split their gifts, unchanged in the coming year, it is not too late to take full advantage of what’s left of your 2016 gift tax exclusion, so long as your gift is completed by December 31st 2016.

    Another option to consider is gifting securities or other assets in lieu of cash. Assets gifted today may have depreciated quite a bit, meaning that if you gift $14K now, you may receive additional discounts from the IRS.

    No matter what your specific financial situation, planning for the future is always a good idea. If you have a will make sure that your beneficiaries are up to date, at Gallardo we realize this notion may bring up some unhappy memories, but hopefully some happy ones too, such as grandchildren who may have been born after you made your will. Be sure to make the changes to include new additions to the family!

    Your will alone may not be enough to ensure your estate is distributed as you wish. There may be assets left off your will. A seasoned estate planning attorney can ensure you include retirement accounts, Life Insurance, Annuities and other key assets people tend to overlook.

    It may make you squeamish, but, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” While our mortality may be out of our control, your estate planning is not. Contact the estate planning lawyers at the Gallardo Law Firm today and take control of your financial planning.