Bridge Law services a wide range of high-net-worth clients all over the world, in ensuring that federal estate taxes be minimized, reduced, and often eliminated. We operate on word-of-mouth referrals and our clients will be the first to tell you how we take a comprehensive, customized approach to planning. An estate plan is one of the most important documents you will put together in your lifetime. People trust us to get it done right so that their plan will work for their loved ones when they need it the most.
The Federal Estate Tax
The following articles from our blog provide a more in-depth, detailed understanding about the federal estate tax and how irrevocable trusts, in general, can help solve the problem.
Essentially, when you pass away, taxes can be imposed upon how much wealth you leave behind. An estate tax is a tax exacted against an inherited portion of your estate. Whether or not the tax is imposed depends on whether the value of your estate exceeds the federal estate tax exemption amount which is adjusted annually to reflect inflation.
The “taxable value” of an estate is determined by the combined value of all assets owned less any applicable debts. Most people underestimate what they own. Things like life insurance death payouts, retirement accounts, overseas assets, even business valuations all are considered part of your estate when you die. Further deductions may be taken for certain charitable donations in addition to legal or administrative dues concerned in concluding the estate.
The federal estate tax rate is 40% and is applied to the taxable estate value that exceeds the exemption amount.
Anticipatory Estate Tax Planning
Our clients know that federal estate taxes are completely voluntary. By the use of proper planning, you can eliminate the need to pay estate taxes. However, failing to do so will result in an unnecessary burden on your family upon inheriting your assets.
The law provides many mechanisms by which to minimize the tax burden that follows the transfer of wealth. These include the use of the following strategies:
- Bypass Trusts/Credit Shelter Trusts
- Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust (QTIP)
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)
- Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) and Charitable Lead Trust (CLT)
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
- Hybrid Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT)
- Spousal Lifetime Asset Protection Trust (SLAT)
- Nevada Incomplete Non-grantor Trust (NING)
- Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)
Which strategy is best for you and your family is a decision we will make together after analyzing your assets and understanding your particular needs, wishes, and concerns. Each and every plan we create is unique.
It is also important to keep in mind that the laws that govern estate taxes are constantly changing from year to year and can even vary from state to state depending on your location. Without sound advice and guidance, it can be extremely difficult to navigate.
Trusted and Experienced Estate Tax Attorneys
Our estate planning team has the ability to handle any difficulties involved in high-value estates and we are ready to be the trusted advisors for you and your family. Drafting documents is only one small part of the services we offer; the real strength is the counsel we bring to the table to make sure you are making the best decisions in preparation of your family’s future. We will review your goals and determine which advanced estate tax planning channels may best serve your needs.