While much of estate planning focuses on ensuring our material wealth is passed on to the right people and in the right way, there is a definite spiritual component for many people. "Spiritual" estate planning is becoming particularly popular among baby boomers intent on ensuring their core values fit into their financial planning.
With the election quickly approaching, the presidential debate is heating up as the candidates ardently seek to distinguish themselves. Mitt Romney, campaigning in Iowa earlier this week, promised Iowa farmers that he would help them by cutting regulations, increasing trade, lowering energy costs and getting rid of the estate tax on high-value family farms.
Property located in the United States-including real estate, art, jewelry and stock-is generally taxable at death under estate tax law, and estate planning attorneys have as one of their core goals to reduce estate tax liability for their clients. They do this by crafting estate plans that avoid or minimize the amount of taxes owed. For non-citizens who wish to pass their wealth on to their children, though, this can be a more difficult task.
As we have previously written about on this blog, 2012 is a year of great opportunities for estate planners and their clients.
Are readers are already familiar with the uncertain state of estate planning beyond 2013. Currently, the federal estate tax is set to go through some changes in 2013 unless action is taken before then. That means that until 2013, individuals are not subject to federal estate tax unless their estate exceeds $5 million, or they may give up to $5 million in gifts without paying federal gift tax. That amount is $10 million for couples.
In our previous post, we looked at how the presently volatile stock market, along with the increased gift tax exemption, has given holders of private stock the incentive to give the stock away as gifts. Here we will look at two further suggestions for family estate planning brought about by the present state of the economy.
According to estate planning experts, now is an excellent time to do estate planning. One should probably expect an estate planning to say that, but according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, various factors affecting estate planning strategies are working in the favor of families at present.
In our previous post, we began looking at estate tax portability, which allows widows and widowers to carry over any unused portion of their estate tax exemption amount and apply it to their own estate at their death.
We have frequently mentioned on this blog that during 2010 and 2011, the estate tax exemption amount is at $5 million. Under the 2010 law raising the exemption amount, individuals can transfer up to $5 million during life or at death, free of tax.