If you’ve been reading our blog regularly then you know that the 2010 estate tax repeal has caused no end of confusion and uncertainty; not only for those who have been dealing with probate and trust administration since the tax was first repealed, but also for those who are trying to think ahead and do the right thing for their spouses and children. Many people have come to the erroneous conclusion that they have no choice but to stand by and wait until the Washington politicians make up their minds about whether or not to restore the estate tax retroactively—but we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to wait to protect your assets and your family.
Forbes.com recently published an article entitled How to Protect Your Family From Estate Tax Uncertainty. This article suggests that there are a number of steps you can take right now to protect your heirs and your assets, even if you don’t know what changes lawmakers may enact tomorrow or 2 months from now. Their suggestions include everything from working with your estate planning attorney on contingency plans to account for anomalies such as no estate tax or minimum exemptions, to common sense action items such as taking the time now to track your cost basis for assets (to help your executor and heirs determine the change in value for tax purposes.) The Forbes article also suggests that some people may want to plan to save by giving—taking advantage of the gift tax exemption amounts. For more on a special technique involving the use of “Disclaimers” in the current estate tax climate, see Attorney Osofsky’s recently published article.
There are always steps you can take to ensure that your estate plan is up to date, our firm can be your compass and your guide; we can help your family prepare for whatever the future may have in store.