4 estate planning moves for high-net-worth families

| Sep 9, 2020 | Estate Planning

Putting your financial house in order can protect your long-term interests and help you avoid stress, especially if you’re experiencing any anxiety over the November election.

While every family’s situation is different, there are practices that can help high-net-worth individuals take advantage of the current estate planning environment.

Transfer tax exemption

One of the biggest opportunities allows people with significant assets to gift up to $11.58 million to another person without paying a transfer tax. This is more than double the exemption from 2016. It’s due to sunset in 2026, but it could end sooner, depending upon the election’s outcome.

Other strategies to consider

People whose estates range from $10 million to $20 million can substantially reduce their estate tax liability by utilizing these strategies:

  • Spousal Lifetime Access Trust: As an irrevocable trust set up for a spouse’s benefit, a SLAT removes assets and appreciation from estate taxes and protects them from a spouse’s future creditors.
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trust: A GRAT is an irrevocable trust freezing values for appreciating assets and transfers the growth at a discount for federal gift tax purposes. Beneficiaries can experience minimal to no tax impact.
  • Charitable Lead Trust: Charitable organizations can benefit from a CLT during the grantor’s lifetime while making the grantor or their heirs eligible for tax benefits.

Consider moves for long-term asset protection

While the strategies described above, as well as many others, can help you achieve a comprehensive and efficient estate plan, they are best done with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. While the opportunities exist for significant gift and estate tax savings, your lawyer can help identify strategies that will help you meet your long-term objectives.