You have likely heard the saying, “all that is guaranteed in life is death and taxes.” While we all die eventually, it doesn’t mean that our estate has to be ravished by taxes. Estate planning is the process which in part will help determine how much of your life savings remains with your family and how much goes to the government.
Federal gift and estate tax law permits each taxpayer to transfer a portion of their estate free from tax during his or her lifetime or upon death to their designated heirs.
“Tax planning is taking the time to find the free bridge. Tax evasion is if you take the toll bridge, but don’t stop to pay the toll,” stated by Louis Brandeis, US Supreme Court Judge.
Tax laws are always changing. Therefore, planning for taxes and estates requires the help of a good CPA or tax attorney along with an attorney who specializes in estate planning.
The following methods are used to reduce the burdens of death and estate taxes:
Lifetime Gifts- Financials gifts given over your lifetime can reduce your taxes upon death. The amount that can be gifted annually per person can change annually, so be sure to check with your tax advisor when leveraging this tax strategy.
Charitable Trusts- Gifts to charities are not taxed as long as the contribution is made to an organization which operates for religious, charitable or educational purposes. You or your estate may be eligible for a tax deduction when funds are given to a qualified charity.
Life Insurance Trusts- Life insurance trusts can be designed to keep the proceeds of a life insurance policy out of your estate to give your estate liquidity needed upon your death. Irrevocable life insurance trusts may be eligible to be excluded from your estate when they are irrevocable, meaning that you cannot dissolve or change the terms of the trust after it is signed. With proper planning, proceeds from life insurance held by the trust may pass to trust beneficiaries without income or estate taxes.
The professionals of Trippon Wealth Management Group dedicate themselves to focusing on the unique set of tax planning and financial planning services which will allow their clients to live a life reflecting their core values.