Taxes are a big reason to plan. But it is not the only reason. The key thing is to have an estate plan that deals with the issues and goals that are personal to you.
Some people have taxable estates, and most will not. Some people have children, and some won’t. Some people are not married, in relationships or on their fifth marriage, while others are in their one and only marriage. An estate plan needs to be customized to fit each person’s particular situation.
Additionally, other factors such as federal and state taxes and asset protection must be considered when developing an estate plan.
Taxes impact all of us. There are two main taxes that need to be considered are income tax and estate tax. Income tax, including capital gains tax, hits the growth in your assets. We pay this all the time. With proper estate planning, these taxes can be mitigated, deferred or even wiped out altogether. The estate tax issue has changed over the years, and currently, for most of us is a non-issue. In 1995, the federal estate tax exemption was only $600,000 per person. In 2016, the federal estate tax exemption is $5,450,000 per person. What this means is that if an individual’s estate at death is less than the exemption amount, there will be no tax imposed. With proper planning, the exemption is doubled for a married couple. So, in 2016, a married couple’s exemption is $10,900,000.
We hope our children are never sued, have to go through bankruptcy or get a divorce. But that is not the society we live. So a proper estate plan should incorporate asset protection. Terms can be incorporated into your plan that protect what you leave to your loved so that they can use and enjoy it, not some greedy plaintiff. Unfortunately we live in a litigious society and planning is necessary to ensure your hard earned estate is distributed to who you want, when you want, with the least possible expense and the greatest amount of privacy.
It is important to get the advice to have a customized plan put in place just for you. If you already have an estate plan, come see one of our estate planning attorneys to have it reviewed – we tell our clients to review every three years. If you don’t have an estate plan, make an appointment today – now is the time to begin planning since we don’t know what tomorrow holds.
Contributed by Morris Hall PLLC Tucson and Oro Valley Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, Wendy W. Harn.
Why Choose Morris Hall, PLLC:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, Morris Hall is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only three firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with Morris Hall. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.