Planning for the future, yours and other’s, is very important in today’s environment. There are some current estate planning opportunities that may not be available in the future.
TUESDAY APRIL 17th IS TAX DAY 2012
Did you take any actions in 2011 that could trigger the requirement to file a gift tax return? Examples of such actions include making a gift, paying the premium on life insurance owned by a trust, transferring cash or other assets to a trust and forgiving a child’s loan.
If your answer to any of the above is yes, you may need to file a gift tax return.
$5,120,000 GIFT TAX EXEMPTION – DON’T MISS IT
Have you used your $5,120,000 gift tax exemption? You can still do so without incurring gift tax, but maybe not for much longer. (Note that if you live in Connecticut or Tennessee there will be state gift tax to consider.) If Congress does not change the current law, the gift tax exemption in 2013 will be $1,000,000. Even if Congress takes action, the exemption may not stay as high as $5,120,000.
INTEREST RATES ARE STILL VERY LOW
Does your child want to buy a home and cannot afford the down payment? Is it time to start planning the passing of the family business to the next generation? Using low interest loans to help finance a purchase can be an efficient way to accomplish these goals.
IT MAY BE TIME TO REVISIT YOUR ESTATE PLAN
Are you experiencing major changes to your life such as marriage, divorce, having a child or retirement? Such life changing events trigger the need to update your estate plan, and in any case, it is recommended that you review your plan at least every five years.
TEN YEAR MINIMUM GRATS – PROPOSED AGAIN
Once again members of Congress and the White House are proposing a ten year mandatory minimum term on grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) and prohibiting zeroed-out GRATs. Even if you have never considered using a GRAT, this opportunity may be your last to take advantage of this planning technique.