Estate Planning—With or Without Taxes

Estate planning is much more than just tax planning. People whose estates are below the estate tax threshold ($11.58 million for 2020) still need wills and living trusts to address a variety of family and personal needs.  For example:

  • A widower wants the bulk of his estate to assist his disabled son through a special needs trust.
  • A bride in her 60s wants her estate to be available to her husband for his lifetime, and then wants the assets to pass to the children from her first marriage.
  • Parents with minor children want to name a guardian and establish a trust to administer their estate.
  • A couple with no children wants their assets divided equally between their families.
  • A man wishes to leave any assets remaining in his IRA to charity in memory of his parents.

All of these situations involve people whose estates might not be subject to estate tax but nevertheless have wishes that can only be addressed through thoughtful estate planning.  For some, a simple will is sufficient; others may need a living trust in addition to a will.

If you don’t already have a will, see an attorney about having one drafted.  If you have a will, review it today to ensure it still reflects your wishes for the disposition of your estate.  If your estate is likely to be subject to federal or estate taxes, ask your attorney to review your estate plan to take advantage of planning opportunities to reduce or eliminate those taxes.