Q: What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of advance planning for the disposition of your assets and an provides a plan to care for beneficiaries and other loved ones.
A good estate planning may include the creation of a last will and testament, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, and other advanced directives. Estate planning also attempts to maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses.
Q: Who should have an estate plan?
Almost everyone should have an estate plan. Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions.
Q: What are the new 2018 Estate Taxes?
Effective January 1, 2018, the amount that can be excluded from federal estate tax is doubled to $11.2 million per person. Under the federal portability allowance, a married couple may be able to exclude up to $22.4 million from federal estate taxes with proper planning. The federal exclusion reverts back to the current base rate of $5 million (indexed for inflation) after 2025.
Please note that while the federal estate tax exclusion is being doubled, many states, such as New York, have their own state estate tax. Please consult your professional advisor regarding to your relevant state estate tax exclusion level.