A Skilled Attorney’s Way Of Preparing For The Future

Estate planning is preparing now for the future. The old adage that there are only two things certain in life, death and taxes, is still true. But in our modern society, it is also true that nothing ever stays the same.  Laws change, families change, health changes, finances change! So how do we plan for the future now?

While the future may be uncertain, an estate planning attorney is trained to help guide you through a discussion of the “what ifs” and counsel you in establishing a plan that will not only address your current situation, but will be flexible enough to cover future circumstances if and when they arise.

Estate Tax And Inheritance Tax

One area of uncertainty is taxes, specifically what is known as “death taxes.”  Many states have inheritance taxes, but Wisconsin is not one of them.  An inheritance tax is imposed on individuals who inherit property. This tax would need to be paid before the beneficiary can receive their inheritance.

Estate taxes, on the other hand, tax the estate of the person who has passed away. This includes retirement accounts, cash, bank accounts, real estate, personal property, etc. Estate taxes exist on both a state and federal level. Only Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii, Washington, Washington D.C., New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Maine, Oregon, Minnesota, and Illinois currently have these taxes. 

Why They Are Important 

Though estate taxes exist and will likely continue, they are currently in flux. The degree to which they could impact your estate will depend on the exemption amounts when you pass away. For your estate to be subject to federal estate tax, it has to exceed a certain threshold which is currently very high. 

At the current exemption level, your estate would need to be in excess of $12 million before federal estate taxes would be owed. The current exemption, unless Congress acts to change the current law, is set to drop to $6 million in 2025. Your estate is subject to the established exemptions at the time of your passing rather than when you created your estate plan. While there are planning options available to reduce or eliminate estate taxes if you have a larger estate, these are complex and require detailed estate planning. 

The Value Of A Skilled Attorney 

There is an art and science behind creating an estate plan. The science is the laws. The art is how you build a strategy based on them. The art is the counseling that can only be found with an experienced estate planning attorney. For instance, the right attorney builds standby provisions into your estate plan to address multiple contingencies. 

No one knows where the federal estate tax threshold will be in ten or twenty years. However, a great estate planning attorney will not gamble your future or estate on speculation. They will outline a wide variety of possibilities and legally prepare your plan to weather each one appropriately. 

Elder Advisors Law

The attorneys at Elder Advisors Law have a combined experience of over 30 years in preparing people for the future. Estate Planning and Elder Law is not one thing Elder Advisors Law does . . . it’s the only thing they do! In addition to knowing the laws, we craft your plan to adapt to the changing and evolving nature of the law. If you have further questions or are ready to create your Estate Plan, contact the established attorneys at Elder Advisors Law to schedule your consultation.

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Elder Advisors Law

As Leaders in Estate Planning and Elder Law, we are passionate about helping families protect their hard-earned assets from the government, nursing homes, lawsuits or other predators.