One important fact about federal estate taxes in California and nationwide is that a decedent has a $5.45 million gift and estate tax exemption at death. This generally excludes those in the middle class of the economy from incurring a federal estate tax, and generally eliminates the issue from their estate planning considerations. However, more and more people are facing the potential of being wealthy enough at death to want to plan correctly for the possibility of a federal estate tax at death.
Planning for the future is important for everyone, regardless of income level or the size of one's estate. Many people neglect to take formal estate planning steps because they believe that they do not need it, but in reality, it is a necessity in order to protect loved ones from complications and disputes in the future. In California and elsewhere, the beginning of the year is a beneficial time to carefully review estate planning documents or start the planning process.
There are many things in life that the average person in California does not want to do; however, it is important that some of these things are addressed. For instance, many do not want to pay bills or taxes, but if these items are not paid there could be serious financial repercussions. Likewise, if one does not plan for the end of life and the best method for protecting assets, there could also be serious financial repercussions.
Perhaps the only thing that is certain is that the political landscape throughout California and the United States as a whole is changing. Each political party has stated their case, and the voters have made a decision. Along with the many other changes that will gradually come in to play, many estate planning experts are expecting there to be some changes in the estate planning process.
Over the years, the average individual will accumulate both assets and liabilities. These will often be in the form of real estate, investments, collections, mortgages and other personal debt. While this accumulation is normal for most California residents, how to handle these assets and liabilities as a part of one's estate is unique to each individual. For this reason, estate planning is crucial for those wanting to make things easier and protect assets for the next generation.
Although no one is bigger than life, of course, a few select entertainers almost seem to assume that stature, especially when their fame endures in a big way after they pass away.
The bottom line that clearly emerges in a recent estate planning article centering on taxes is that tax considerations are not something to be narrowly or separately considered by any planner.
The realm of estate administration is rife with specialized vocabulary and even esoteric terms that are used daily by experienced legal practitioners in the field, yet are far from being squarely in the public parlance.
Can charitable giving to a nonprofit actually have a financial benefit to donors or an estate plan? According to a recent article, that answer is yes.
Estate planning questions often center on transfers to children, but a recent article reminds us that philanthropic giving is also a consideration for many Americans.