Since the federal estate tax exemption has risen to $11.18 million per individual under the 2017 Tax Act (with this amount doubling for married couples), many individuals believe that they require only very simplistic estate planning, or that they do not require any estate planning at all.
Estates & Trusts Blog
By now, everyone has heard of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and how it increased the federal gift and estate tax exemption to approximately $11.2 million per person in 2018, with the exemption amount being doubled to approximately $22.4 million for married couples. Further, thanks to portability, the estate of a surviving spouse can use the unused portion of the deceased spouse’s exemption amount.
For many children who graduate from high school, the next step in their journey to adulthood is college. For many children, this is the first time they will be living away from home and/or making significant life decisions on their own, without their parents’ assistance or supervision. This can be a difficult transition for a child, but even more so for a parent who, for the last 17 years, has been making all of his/her child’s major decisions.
When it comes to your estate plan, it is important to periodically review your beneficiary designation forms in order to ensure that they are correct. This is a vital part of the planning process for all individuals, and it is often overlooked, many times causing the person that an individual wanted to receive certain assets to receive nothing.
Getting divorced is a complicated and drawn-out process, where emotions run high and the last thing on an individual’s mind is updating his/her estate planning documents. While that is indeed the case for many individuals going through a divorce, once a divorce is finalized, it is imperative that individuals review their estate planning documents and amend or update them so that they will reflect the individual’s new planning goals. This review does not stop at a Will or Trust; rather, it will be necessary for individuals to review all of their financial accounts - their bank account inf
Many adults are hesitant to discuss, much less implement, a comprehensive estate plan. They believe that there is no need to create an estate plan for a variety of reasons, the most common being that they are not wealthy enough to require a comprehensive plan.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which President Trump signed on Feb. 9, 2018, has potentially created a new opportunity for individuals interested in charitable and philanthropic planning, as the bill creates a limited exception from the private foundation excess business holdings excise tax under Section 4943 of the Internal Revenue Code.
During the lifetimes of most married couples, especially when a child is involved, mutual estate planning is done so as to ensure that if one spouse passes away, the deceased spouse’s assets pass to the surviving spouse. Generally speaking, this is a sound planning strategy; unfortunately, if a marriage ends in divorce, each person will effectively have to update and/or revise their respective estate planning strategies.
Updating Planning Documents
President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Act) into law on December 22, 2017, extensively modifying U.S. taxation laws for individuals and business. Among other things, the Act increases the applicable exclusion amount of the Federal estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax from $5 million per individual, indexed annually for inflation, to $10 million in 2018 (the inflation adjusted exemption amount is expected to be approximately $11.2 million or $22.4 million for married couples).
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law on December 22, 2017, represents the most significant change to the U.S. Tax Code in more than three decades. Among the changes is an increase of the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption limits for the years 2018 through 2025.