Think Your Estate Is Now Protected From Federal Estate Tax?
According To The Tax Lawyers Studying The New Law –
The Heckerling Institute is one of the premier estate planning programs
and “think tanks”dedicated to effective estate planning. The lawyers
appearing at the institute and those in attendance focus on planning
to minimize federal estate taxes and on issues of how to protect assets
and estates of all sizes for the benefit of your heirs.
After the first day of this five day intensive, David Frees’ review was
that all speakers and presenters agreed, that this year, with changes to
the federal estate tax laws being both radical and profound, the Institute
is more important than ever.
And, added Frees, “There are many many opportunities for estate tax
planning, gifting, and other planning techniques but some may be here
for a limited time only AND, many surviving spouses must now
file returns who never had to before.” Under the new law, if a
surviving spouse fails to file a 706 (estate tax return) he or she will not
inherit the deceased spouse’s remaining exemption and this can mean
much higher taxes for many families.
With several of the changes in the new law, there are unprecedented
opportunities to make gifts, to pass on wealth, to protect assets, and to
carry out your estate planning goals. However, according to most of
the high level estate planning lawyers in attendance, there is a mis-
perception among many people that real planning is now automatic.
and that planning, wills, trusts and good powers of attorney are no
However, many of the provisions of the new law may be a use it or
lose it proposition since they expire in 2 years and many people mis-
understand the “portability provisions”of the new law.
According to David Frees “Many people think that they can rely on
“inheriting” their spouse’s exemption to shelter even more assets for
their heirs. But, trusts and flexible disclaimer plans remain vitally
important to avoid taxation, lose of family wealth to nursing homes,
protection from divorce, and to making sure that taxes are minimized
and estates are protected from state inheritance taxes and even federal
Stay tuned for more specific tools and ideas for estate planning such as
new uses for the QPRT (Qualified Personal Residence Trust) and other
ways to protect assets for the next generation while protecting yourself
and a surviving spouse.