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Estate Planning for 2016 and Beyond

 

The last few years have seen significant changes to income tax and estate tax law. These changes will affect estate planning for the foreseeable future. If your estate plan is more than two years old or if your circumstances have significantly changed since your plan was implemented, you are due now for an estate plan checkup.

Here are some of the highlights for estate taxes:

In addition, there are several changes to income taxes, including several income tax increases that can be mitigated by proper planning:

For most Americans, the recent tax legislation has reduced or completely removed the emphasis on estate tax planning and put it back on the real reasons we need to do estate planning: taking care of ourselves and our families the way we want.

If you are tempted to skip estate planning because your estate is less than the $5 million range, remember that estate planning isn’t just about taxes. Proper planning can:

For those with larger estates, ample opportunities remain to transfer large amounts tax-free to future generations. But with the changes in estate and income tax rates, it is critical that professional planning begins as soon as possible. Also, with Congress looking for more ways to increase revenue, many reliable estate planning strategies may soon be restricted or eliminated.

If you have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see what Congress or the courts would do, the wait is over. We have some certainty with "permanent" laws - the time to plan is now.

© 2016 by WealthCounsel, LLC