A recent Forbes.com piece focuses on the messy reality of the federal estate tax law and how to effectively plan despite the many uncertainties that exist at a time when Congress has left Washington to stump on the campaign trail for elections. Still on the table on Capitol Hill is the estate tax which, if left untouched, will allow the U.S. Treasury to take from an estate 55% of assets in excess of $1 million.
Beyond the financial advice for maxing out tax-deferred retirement accounts, the article also encourages those who are able to make annual gifts to help counter the tax that may apply to your estate. An individual can give $13,000 (and a spouse can give another $13,000) to anyone they choose each year without paying gift tax. This is a great way to move otherwise taxable money from your estate into the hands of your loved ones. Some might also consider making taxable gifts (in excess of $13,000), since the gift tax is a full 20% lower than the anticipated estate tax in 2011.
There are a number of other steps that may be taken, and those steps are outlined in the latest print edition of the WalshLaw Report, available now in our office. Give us a call at (410)312-5690 or email admin [at] walshlaw[dot]com to make sure you get your own copy. Also consider meeting with one of our attorneys for a consultation. Making sure your will or trust is up to date and flexibly addresses ongoing changes in the law is a key concern for Walsh & Company, P.A.