Okay, time again to address everyone's favorite topics: Death and Taxes. Unfortunately, these topics are too important to ignore. If you do attempt to ignore these topics, it will not necessarily be at your peril, but it could be at your spouse or your family's peril. On January 1st much is going to change in our country unless we get a deal between Congress and the White House sometime over the next few weeks.
Regardless of whether a deal is reached or not, one item that most certainly will be affected is estate taxes. Let me give you a quick example... If you died on December 31, 2012 and you had $5,000,000 in your estate, you would be able to pass on the entire $5,000,000 to your beneficiaries. However, If you died at 12:01 am on January 1st, 2013 you could have to pay over $2,000,000 in estate taxes. Have you ever seen a situation in which you could lose $2,000,000 in that short an amount of time?
Of course, many people will say that they do not have to worry because they do not have $5,000,000. Be careful though, because after January 1st, every dollar over $1,000,000 can be taxed at up to 55%. This includes your real estate, retirement accounts, life insurance, investments and other assets. Can you imagine working your entire life, faithfully paying taxes that entire time, only to lose that much of it to additional taxes? For most of us our preference would be to pass our estate along to our loved ones, not the federal government.
There are many options out there to either avoid or minimize the estate taxes that may have to be paid after a death. If you have a plan but have not have had it reviewed for more than two years, now is the time. If you do not have a plan, please make the time to come in and have one created. The risks are far too great and there is too much to lose.
Contributed by MHK Cave Creek and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney West Hunsaker
Why Choose Morris Hall:
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, MH 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 two 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 MH. 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.