Inheritance taxes are a major concern for many who have amassed financial wealth or physical property. Federal and state lawmakers are constantly making changes to tax law, and trust and wills can quickly become a matter of importance when laws change or expire. Our readers in Orlando, Florida, may be interested to hear of the rush on trust and estate lawyers due to Bush-era tax cuts that are currently headed for expiration at the end of this year.
Many millionaires across the nation are seeking to find shelters that would diminish the tax liability on their assets if the inheritance taxes return to previous levels. The expiration of the lower estate and gift tax changes would raise rates from their current level of 35 percent to 55 percent. The ceiling on lifetime exemptions would lower from more than $ 5 million to no more than $1 million per person.
The president and the speaker of the house have been engaged in regular discussions on how best to address these and other tax issues as part of the so-called fiscal cliff. Many lawyers and other legal professionals serving the community with trust and inheritance issues have had to turn away clients due to the overwhelming demand to protect assets.
Protecting assets from excessive taxation and ensuring a solid financial future for loved ones is a primary concern of many wealthy Americans. Those seeking assistance with tax and estate planning through their trusts and wills should strive to understand all they can about existing laws and potential changes in the near future.
Source: Bloomberg, “Millionaires Seek Trust Shelter as Bush Tax Cuts May End,” Sophia Pearson and Ellen Rosen, Dec. 11, 2012