Savvy Estate Planning Can Substantially Reduce Estate Tax Liability


One of the primary objectives of estate planning is to reduce exposure to tax liability. Because the tax laws are constantly changing and evolving, relying on an estate plan that is several years old is a bad idea. Doing so can cost you and your heirs dearly.

Estate planning is not a once-in-a-lifetime event

I remind each of my clients that estate planning is not a once in a lifetime task. Prudent estate planning requires periodic adjustments as life circumstances change and as the law changes. And, the best way to avoid paying Uncle Sam even an iota more than you must is to have an estate plan checkup each year.

Adjustments with the help of a professional

Your San Francisco Bay area estate planning attorney will review your estate plan each year and make any adjustments which may be necessary to address changes in the estate tax laws or changes in your life. As case which illustrates the importance of maintaining a current estate plan is that of billionaire George Steinbrenner. In early 2010, there was speculation that Congress might make the estate tax an “opt-in” or “opt out” tax to solve the problems caused by the lapse in the 2010 estate tax. In response to this speculation, Steinbrenner’s estate planning attorney amended his will to give the attorney the authority to decide whether his trust would pay estate taxes in this year or not until after his wife, the beneficiary of his estate, died.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Janet Brewer, Law Offices of Janet L. Brewer | Attorney Advertising

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