Estate Planning Attorney Suggests Estate Planning At All Income Levels
Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) June 27, 2013 – Estate planning is widely seen as a smart move for higher income households, but individuals at all income levels may benefit.
The close of 2012 was unusually busy for estate planning attorneys as they worked with clients to implement new or updated estate plans in advance of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), to be enacted January 2, 2013. The ATRA was expected to reduce gift and estate tax exemptions to $1 million, but it ended up not reducing exemption amounts after all.
“Regardless of the amount of your estate, your estate plan guides your wishes for your family," said Palo Alto estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix. “It is particularly important if you have a larger estate.”
Currently, the federal tax on estates is triggered at $10.5 million for a couple, and $5.25 million for an individual, but estate planning experts caution that even much smaller estates should have an estate plan. That is especially true for people who designated their assets via a will or trust years ago and have not gone back to review and revise their documents, people who have divorced or divorced and remarried, and parents with children born to them since their last estate iteration.
Estate planning, regardless of the size of the estate, includes: designating a guardian for any minor or dependent children; placing an inheritance into a trust for a child who has substance abuse or spending problems; updating the beneficiary of a retirement account or insurance policy; developing Advance Health Care Directives in the case of incapacitation; long-term care planning for nursing home stays or chronic illness; developing a Special Needs Trust for a dependent adult child; and drafting or updating a will and/or a revocable living trust to protect the privacy of one's assets.
The new estate tax amounts are currently being called "permanent," but that does not mean they cannot be changed again. President Obama recently released a budget proposal which would bring the “permanent” exemption level back to $3.5 million in 2018, while increasing any exceeding asset tax rates from 40 percent to 45 percent.
To learn more, visit Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP at http://www.gilfix.com/.
Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP
2300 Geng Rd., Suite 200
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Telephone: (650) 493-8070
Facebook: Like Us!
- Considering the move to an active-adult community? We’ve got advice on evaluating the options.
As retirement nears, many older adults consider the benefits that an active-adult community can offer. For some, the option to downsize out of an over-large house can mean a more comfortable retirement and a larger estate to pass on to heirs. For others, the proximity to recreation and community promises to help keep them active […]
- Go Red for American Heart Month: Four fun ways to get heart-healthy with loved ones
February is a time for matters of the heart -- and that includes heart health. This month is American Heart Month, and groups like the American Heart Association want to get people talking about how to prevent heart disease, the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. The risk of […]
- Despite Pervasive Myths, Estate Planning Significantly Benefits Young and Growing Families
One of the most pervasive myths about estate planning is that it is most crucial for the elderly. According to a national estate planning survey, this myth is one reason that the majority of people under the age of 34 do not have a will. But young adults, and especially young adults with growing families, […]
- Increasing focus on the “invisible patient:” it’s time to recognize and treat caregiver burden
It has long been known that those who care for an elderly or incapacitated loved one can suffer physically, psychologically, financially and socially. These caregivers have been known for years in the medical community as the “invisible patients.” Little has been done for them. According to the New York Times, there are more than 40 […]
- Estate planning and the single person
Many discussions about estate planning revolve around couples and families. Yet a large percentage of Americans are single. Some are divorced, others are widowed and still others never married. Single people may want to adopt estate planning strategies that differ somewhat from those a married couple would use, depending on the situation. For example, an […]