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New tax bill makes big changes to estate tax

There are many good reasons why Brevard County residents visit estate planning attorneys. Some people have just had a child or are expecting an addition to their family, so they want to update a will or estate plan that will protect the new family member. Others have recently married or divorced and want to adjust their wills accordingly.

There are also those residents affected by the changes in the recently enacted tax law. They want to secure their assets and look after their heirs.

The New York Times reports that many people with significant assets are visiting their estate planning attorneys to take advantage of the new $10 million tax exemption in the estate tax. The newspaper says that when indexed for inflation, the revised exemption allows individuals to transfer $11.2 million and couples to pass on $22.4 million.

It is important to note that this exemption alteration is only good for eight years. If Congress does nothing to change the law that was just passed in December, estate taxes would revert to pre-December rates.

The director of federal tax policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the estate tax applies to “to less than one-tenth of 1 percent” of all estates.

In 2016, only 5,219 estates were taxed, the newspaper said. The new exemptions would make significant changes to those 2016 figures: only heirs to 2,204 estates would have been taxed after the new individual $10 million baseline exemption is applied. Only heirs to 911 estates would have been taxed after the $20 million baseline exclusion in the new tax law is applied.

Discuss the ways in which the new law might make changes to your estate plan prudent with an attorney experienced in the creation of wills, trusts and other effective estate planning tools.

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