If you have worked hard all your life to build wealth and accumulate assets, you will want to leave those assets to the people you love when you go. Federal estate taxes can take a large bite out of a substantial estate. The IRS reports that the top-bracket tax rate is 40%. Fortunately, long-term asset planning can help protect your estate and heirs from over-taxation.
At DCDM Law Group, our experienced asset protection attorneys can assist you with strategic, long-term asset planning to help protect your assets and estate from a wide range of potential threats, including over-taxation. We are well-versed in the art and science of asset protection, and we can put our knowledge and skills to work for you and your estate.
Long-Term Asset Planning: 2016 Estate and Gift Tax Exemption
The IRS announced that as of 2016, the estate and gift tax exemption has increased to $5.45 million per individual. This means that individuals can leave up to $5.45 million to their heirs with no federal estate or gift taxes. This exemption has historically increased over recent years:
- $1.5 million in 2004-2005;
- $2 million in 2006-2008;
- $3.5 million in 2009;
- $5 million in 2010-2011;
- $5.25 million in 2013;
- $5.34 million in 2014;
- $5.43 million in 2015.
Also, beginning January 1, 2011, the unused portion of an individual’s estate and gift tax exemption can be passed down to a surviving spouse. This ruling enables married couples to shield up to $10.9 million from federal estate and gift taxes.
Tax Exemptions and Long-Term Asset Planning
Our experienced Pasadena asset protection lawyer can assist you with long-term asset planning and help ensure that you take advantage of all possible tax exemptions and strategies. For example:
- Property left to a surviving spouse passes free of federal estate tax. However, long-term asset planning should factor in tax consequences to the surviving spouse’s estate.
- There is no federal estate tax on bequests to tax-exempt charities.
- You can make annual gifts tax free up to a certain amount. In 2016, the annual exclusion amount for gifts remains at $14,000 per donee.
- Creating a family LLC can allow you to transfer assets to family members at a 40% discounted value, so you can transfer more assets before federal gift tax applies.
Legal Assistance with Long-Term Asset Planning
Asset protection should not be done piecemeal. If you have accumulated substantial assets, you need a comprehensive strategy crafted by an experienced legal professional to achieve full-spectrum protection of your assets.
Over-taxation is only one possible threat to your assets and estate. Our Pasadena asset protection attorneys are well-versed in sophisticated strategies to provide protection from litigation, lenders, ex-in-laws, and other threats, as well as from federal and state tax authorities.
At DCDM Law Group, we take a holistic approach to long-term asset planning, closing the gaps that traditional methods of asset protection may leave open. Minimizing the tax burden on your estate is an important part of the asset protection services we provide. Schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help with your long-term asset planning.