Not everyone realizes the importance of establishing a personalized estate plan. Some believe they don’t have enough assets. Others think the law will distribute their estate. However, the law is constantly changing, and there is a wide array of laws that applies to estates on both the Federal and state level. The only way to ensure your estate is handled as you desire is to establish a comprehensive estate plan.
State law determines where your assets and possessions go after you die, and sets the state estate tax.
Federal law determines the Federal estate tax. Right now, this is an area of future uncertainty. At the end of 2012 the current estate tax laws are set to expire. For 2012, there is an exemption amount of $5 million. Unless Congress acts before the end of the year, that exemption amount will revert to $1 million. As a result, many people who currently do not have estates that would be subject to estate tax will potentially be in a different position in just a few months. In Northern Virginia or Washington, DC, many people who own homes will have estates in excess of $1 million because of the high property values.
Establishing a comprehensive estate plan will ensure that your assets are handled the way you desire, in a manner that best suits your specific needs. Please contact me for a consultation to discuss your estate plan.