Estate Tax Planning
Looking for an attorney to reduce taxes in northern Virginia? Any comprehensive estate plan should thoroughly consider estate tax issues. The federal estate tax laws have changed frequently over the past decades: In 2001, estates over $1 million were subject to estate taxes.
By 2009 the exemption amount was $3.5 million. The estate tax was repealed for 2010, then returned with an exemption of $5 million for individuals and $10 million for married couples.
In 2020, the exemption has reached more than $11 million for individuals and exceeds $22 million for married couples. Unless the law is changed before 2026, these limits will return to the $5 million/$10 million thresholds, adjusted for inflation. In this dynamic environment, it is vitally important to seek the estate tax planning advice of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A MILLIONAIRE TO BE AFFECTED
Why worry about estate taxes if $5 to $10 million is protected for you? Many families need to keep an eye on the estate tax law in case the temporary increases are not made permanent by the end of the year (or are made permanent and later changed). Many families need to keep an eye on the estate tax law in case the limits are lowered in the future. Even if your estate will never be taxable, having a will or trust provides for the orderly distribution of your assets at your death and eases the administrative burdens of death for the surviving family members.
Estate Tax Portability
The 2010 tax law added a new concept to the estate tax system: a “portable” exemption between husband and wife. Prior to 2011, if the first spouse to die did not claim her exemption, usually by having some or all of the estate flow into a “credit shelter trust” (also known as a family trust, or a B trust), it was lost forever. Under the current law, the estate of a surviving spouse can “use” any leftover exemption of the first spouse to die.
The experienced Northern Virginia estate planning attorneys at Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy, PLC, offer fact-based and family-centered legal guidance in estate tax planning matters. Since 1980, we have helped our clients address immediate concerns and achieve long-term goals for maximizing the value of their legacy by minimizing the amount of estate tax liability.
WE CAN HELP
With our assistance, you can take immediate action to:
- Draft a will or establish a living trust that strikes the proper balance between protecting against future changes in the estate tax law and restricting the use of all assets by the surviving spouse
- Use credit-shelter trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, strategic charitable giving, family limited partnerships and other tools to avoid estate taxes on larger estates.
To learn more about estate tax planning, contact our Northern Virginia estate planning firm today!
Since 1980 the AV-rated law firm of Hale Ball has served the legal needs of individuals and businesses. Our team of attorneys include lawyers named to Super Lawyer and Rising Star lists, as well as attorneys with advanced legal degrees, specialty certifications and lawyers who teach their areas of practice to other lawyers.
Use the contact form on this page to schedule a consultation, or call 703-591-4900.
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Fairfax, VA 22030