Ask Tom: What Law Changes Require me to Update my Estate Plan?

Feb 14, 2019 | Estate Planning, Real Estate, Tax

Estate planning is an ongoing process that needs to evolve with you as your family and circumstances change. Some things that are likely under your control are: the growth of your estate, getting married or starting a business, or choosing to relocate to another state. Other situations which are not in your control may include: marriage or divorce of a loved one, death of a spouse, tax changes, or creditor protection matters. By reviewing your estate plan every 3-5 years, you can create a plan that evolves with you, and still carries out your wishes regardless of what happens in your life around you.

Some transfer taxes are indexed for inflation. In 2019 the amount that can be given annually without filing a gift tax return remains unchanged at $15,000.00 per donee. The basic exclusion amount, the amount that an individual can pass at death free from the federal state tax increased to $11,400,000.00 (22,800,000.00 for couples). For most people the Federal Estate Tax is no longer a concern. In fact, the Tax Policy Center estimated that in 2018 only 1700 estates would owe Federal Estate Tax which is less than 0.1 percent of all deaths.

However, those with large estates need to consider planning alternatives because the current tax law is not permanent and will revert in 2026 to pre-2017 inflation-adjusted levels, which would be approximately $6.5 million per individual ($13 million for couples). This major cut back on tax exemptions may seem far in the future but this proves that federal estate tax is not going away, the top estate and gift tax rate remains at 40%, and state death and inheritance taxes remain in many states.

Feel free to call our office at (435) 674-9718 to set up an appointment to review your estate plan.

JensenBayles, LLP provides a broad spectrum of legal services.  Thomas J. Bayles has been actively providing advice in the areas of trusts, wills, probate and tax planning in the St. George market for over 18 years. Please visit our web site or call 435-674-9718 and ask for Thomas J. Bayles. The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Please contact an attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

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