Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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Minimize Estate Taxes, Protect Your Wealth

In the quest to avoid probate and paying unnecessary taxes, one method commonly used is transferring some or all of your property as a gift before you become incapacitated or pass away. An estate plan carefully created with the advice of the attorneys at the Law Office of Sharon C. Stodghill can help you transfer a considerable amount of wealth to your family and maximize your tax exemptions as you do it.

Planning So That Your Gifts Will Give The Most

Your attorney can explain various aspects of gifts and estate tax planning and find the best way to combine prudent gift giving with tax minimization. We will answer any questions you have regarding gifts and discuss:

  • Exemption limits: There is both an annual and a lifetime limit on gift tax exemption. You must keep track of how much of your annual and lifetime gift exemption is used while you are living, as it will have an impact on federal tax exemption after your death. The amount of combined lifetime gift and tax exemption is subject to change due to inflation and other factors, so it’s always prudent to speak to your lawyer before making gifts.
  • The benefits of marriage: Married couples can combine their annual gift exclusion amounts, again to an extent that may change from year to year, and must file an IRS form detailing their actions. A surviving spouse may also inherit the estate tax exemption of the deceased spouse without use of AB trust planning, providing the correct forms in a timely manner after the spouse’s death.
  • Generation-skipping transfer taxes: There are different exemptions for gifts or trusts to the generation beyond your children, covering gifts given to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Properly done, this can allow you to give a considerable amount of wealth to your family.

Call us today at 713-464-6412 or contact us by email for a free initial consultation to learn more about gifts and estate planning. We proudly serve clients throughout Houston.