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Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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Giving gifts to avoid tax implications when estate planning

Texans and people across the nation are paying close attention to how the Trump Administration handles various matters, such as the estate tax. This can be a problematic issue for those whose assets surpass the current levels to receive exemptions. Even if the estate tax remains in place and a repeal is not completed, there are options to use in the estate planning process to avoid paying needless taxes. A legal professional who is experienced in strategies to mitigate the estate tax can help in this endeavor.

Avoiding taxes and probate can be accomplished by transferring the property as a gift prior to incapacitation or death. There are several factors that must be taken into consideration when determining if this is the best course of action. For example, the exemption limits are imperative. There is an annual and a lifetime cap on the gift tax exemption. Maintaining an accurate record of what has been given as a gift on an annual basis and throughout one’s life can avoid missing out on the exemptions. Various factors dictate when the limits are, so this must be accounted for.

Those who are married can combine the amount they use for a gift exclusion. This too can change depending on myriad factors such as inflation. There must also be an IRS form that lists the actions that a married couple takes. If there is a surviving spouse, he or she can inherit the exemption without an A-B trust. Another alternative is generation-skipping transfer taxes. Exemptions are available for trusts and gifts that are for the generations after the testator’s children. It encompasses gifts that were provided to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This can allow a great deal of assets to pass to the family without being subjected to tax implications.

People who are concerned about the estate tax and what they will do if it is not repealed should discuss their case with a legal professional who has extensive experience in these matters. A lawyer who is aware of all options with estate tax planning will provide guidance and advice regardless of the circumstances.