Moving wealth down to younger family members without punitive taxes is the soul of estate planning. Our Estate Planning services include: Elder Law, Wills, Simple and Complex Trusts, Asset Protection, Medicaid Planning, Health Care Proxies, Probate, Durable Powers of Attorney, Conservatorship, & Guardianship.
The stakes are high. Tax brackets for taxable estates and income taxes on trusts are considerable. The “Generation-Skipping Tax” bites at the maximum federal estate tax rate. Qualified retirement plans and IRAs are subject to combined estate, income, and excise taxes which can exceed 70%. Tax laws can change significantly from year to year, including the Sheltered Amount limits. Persons whose estates exceed the Sheltered Amount (including life insurance) unwittingly generate avoidable federal estate taxes unless tax-sensitive countermeasures are employed. Ask how we can help you.
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Family businesses can be structured in the form of tax-favored limited liability companies or limited liability partnerships. These newly authorized business entities, fortified by protective buy-sell agreements, can target tax and asset protection objectives. Revocable trusts (“living trusts”), which permit an investor to avoid both guardianship (in event of incapacity) and probate (in event of death), can serve, where appropriate, in lieu of wills.
Durable powers of attorney for business and health care purposes complement and protect estate planning objectives. Special estate planning is required for persons with disabilities and their families. Special Needs Trusts can shelter assets and preserve a disabled person’s eligibility for available governmental services or benefits.
Written by Congress, expanded by IRS regulations, and construed ultimately by the courts, our tax laws represent a continuing cascade of complexity. Navigating between proliferating federal tax rules and frequently revised state statutes demands disciplined and continuous study. Estate Planning Attorney, John G. Kennan, Jr. will work in concert with your accountants, insurance advisors, and trust officers to reach your estate and business planning objectives.