Many people delay writing a will. Perhaps it's due to fear of the unknown, or anxiety at the thought of the end of life. It's understandable. You may have thought about what you'd like to happen when you die, but you're afraid to put it in writing because it feels too serious or final. Even if you're middle-aged, you might still be putting it off. Isn't estate planning for "old people"?
The season for changing estate tax exemptions is upon us. Only four months ago, a so-called "permanent" exemption was created for estates of $5 million or less. However, because there was nothing in the national budget proposal that said Congress couldn't change the exemption in the future, the "permanent" limit isn't all that permanent.
Estate tax laws have changed in the United States, and many Wayne County residents will need to revise their estate planning documents to keep up with the times. In anticipation of the changes, high-earners throughout the country established trusts in 2012 and took other estate planning measures to protect assets and limit tax liabilities.
An estate plan involves the use of legal instruments such as wills and trusts to distribute the assets of an estate. Many families are blended from more than one biological family, so estate planning often involves stepchildren. Readers in Oakland and Mccomb counties will want to learn more about planning an estate for stepchildren.
Working hard, saving and investing are good ways to prepare for the future. If those preparations include estate planning, someone will have to be in charge of handling the estate owner's assets after that person passes away. Estate administration can clear up any possible confusion over a deceased person's debts, tax responsibilities and asset distribution.
The expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2013 has left many Michigan residents wondering what the future holds for federal estate tax exemptions. If Congress is not able to work out a deal with regard to these exemptions, the inheritance tax implications are going to affect many estate planning professionals and their clients in the upcoming year.
An estate plan generally uses a variety of legal instruments, including wills and trusts, to distribute assets after a person dies. The pending estate tax code changes on these assets can have a profound effect on estate planning strategies for many Michigan families if Congress chooses to let them expire.
Many Michigan residents may have an IRA that they wish to leave to their spouse or a child once they pass on. However, without proper planning, much of this inheritance could be lost to taxes. Anyone with an IRA who is in the process of estate planning should understand how tax laws will affect their heirs. Doing so may allow the inheritance to have a more positive effect on a loved one's life.
Estate planning can be a complex process, and when the assets involved in an estate are of high value, it's especially critical to understand all the ways taxes can affect one's estate. That's especially true as 2012 comes to a close, because major changes in gift and estate laws for 2013 could have a massive impact on estates valued over $1 million in the coming year. These changes will not only affect estate planning here in Michigan but throughout the entire United States.