One of the many advantages of estate planning is minimizing your beneficiaries’ tax obligation when they receive assets from your estate. Current tax law outlines the responsibilities and duties of a decedent’s gross estate when that estate exceeds the federal exemption amount. The current exemption amount is $11.2 million dollars per person.
A decedent’s gross estate includes all the decedent’s assets, both financial (e.g., stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) and real (e.g., homes, land, and other tangible property). It also includes the decedent’s share of jointly owned assets and life insurance proceeds from policies owned by the decedent. These amounts can quickly add up to a significant tax payment.
However, the estate tax law allows an unlimited deduction for transfers to a surviving spouse and to charity. Estates may also deduct debts, funeral expenses, legal and administrative fees, charitable bequests, and estate taxes paid to states. The taxable estate equals the gross estate less these deductions. Therefore, if after all of these deductions are properly calculated and the taxable estate is valued at over $11.2 million dollars, it is subject to estate tax.
Many other useful estate planning and tax planning tools are available to maximize your wealth. Our unique team of in-house attorneys, tax experts, and certified financial planners determine the proper tax plan for you.
Retirement Income Planning:
Have you been thinking about your retirement? Do you have enough to sustain yourself and your spouse for the next 15-30 years? Did you know that accessing funds in your retirement accounts in a specific order seriously impacts how much you ultimately receive from those accounts?
Retirement Income Planning involves carefully planning the distribution of your overall wealth. Our team of experts will examine your current financial status, income, and retirement plan to determine the best withdrawal schedule and way to maximize your retirement funds.
Each source of income and each type of retirement account is governed by a different set of rules. Being ignorant of these rules or otherwise failing to properly accommodate them can significantly lower how much a you and your heirs, ultimately receive.
There are multiple strategies that can be used in order to maximize assets and minimize tax and other liabilities. For example, a life insurance policy can be used to protect an IRA account, or a spousal rollover can be used to stretch-out retirement benefits and minimize taxes. Additionally, retirement income planning can ensure children or heirs receive the benefits of tax-deferred growth, as well as protect retirement accounts left to them against threats such as divorce, remarriage, lawsuits, or creditors.
Understanding estate taxes and your retirement distribution strategies is critical to maintaining your overall wealth and preserving your family legacy. We understand that everyone has unique goals, financial expectations, and different attitudes towards financial risk. Our team of attorneys, certified financial planners, and tax experts work together, to develop a plan that considers all of your unique ideas, goals, and priorities.