A review of your estate plan in light of the latest rules and strategies will allow you to make the most of available exemptions and ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
Depending on your situation and goals, using tax-smart annual exclusion gift exemptions during your life can be a powerful tax saver.
Generation Skipping Transfer taxes may apply to transfers to people more than one generation below you, such as grandchildren. For taxpayers with large estates, properly planned and executed transfers to grandchildren may help your children with potentially large estates of their own avoid taxes.
It is critical to understand and consider state law as it applies to tax liabilities, keeping in mind state-specific tax laws and rates, which are often imposed at a lower threshold than federal tax liabilities.
In simple terms, If one spouse dies and part (or all) of his or her estate tax exemption is unused at his or her death, the estate can elect to permit the surviving spouse to use the deceased spouse’s remaining estate tax exemption. Though not recognized by many states, Maryland will begin offering portability of its state estate tax exemption beginning in 2019.
Depending on your situation, giving away assets now will help reduce the size of your taxable estate. Some options for giving include gifting property with the greatest future appreciation potential, gifting interests in your business, paying tuition and medical expenses, and making gifts to charity.
Trusts can be designed to meet specific purposes, in addition to significant tax savings, while preserving some control over what happens to the transferred assets.
Proceeds from life insurance are generally income tax free to the beneficiary and, with proper planning, can be excluded from your taxable estate.