Feb 212014

Did you know that Virginia does not have an estate tax?  It was repealed for estates of decedents whose date of death is after June 30, 2007.

What does this mean for Virginia residents?  It means that the only potential estate tax is at the Federal level.  Currently, that means only estates valued over $5.34 million are subject to tax.  With the portability rules, married couples can combine their estate tax exemptions, thereby exempting $10.68 million from tax.

Keep in mind, however, that tax planning is not the only reason to establish a comprehensive estate plan.  Estates of individuals who die without a will take significantly longer to move through probate than those with a will.  Additionally, without a will you are subject to the statutory designations of how your assets are distributed.  It is important to protect your interests as well as your heirs.

Do you live in Virginia and have estate planning needs?  Contact me today to set up an appointment.

 February 21, 2014  Posted by at 3:22 pm No Responses »
Aug 272013

In light of the changes made to the estate tax laws in January 2013, many people might be questioning whether it is worthwhile to create an estate plan.  Even if you do not have a taxable estate, it is still important to create a personalized estate plan.  The attached article outlines several excellent reasons to create a will and trust, regardless of net worth.

The New Focus of Estate Planning — Investing Daily.

 August 27, 2013  Posted by at 4:15 pm No Responses »
Apr 292013

After 12 years of uncertainty, the estate and gift tax laws were revised and made permanent.  However, before we get too comfortable with these new provisions, let’s take a look at President Obama’s proposed 2014 budget.  It looks like the newly-enacted estate and gift tax laws may be on the chopping block.  The proposed budget set forth by the White House includes reducing the personal estate tax exemption amount to $3.5 million, without inflation adjustments, beginning in 2018.  Gift tax exclusions would likewise be reduced, as well as some other inheritance-based taxes.

Coming soon: More estate-tax battles – Encore – MarketWatch.

 April 29, 2013  Posted by at 4:32 pm No Responses »
Apr 262013

Back in January, the Federal estate tax laws were amended. Everyone now has a personal exemption amount of $5.25 million, subject to inflation. And, unlike over the previous decade, this law is permanent, causing millions of people to rely on it. Additionally, with “portability” a surviving spouse can use any portion of their spouse’s exemption amount that was not previously used, without having to place the money in a trust. As a result, some people may have gotten complacent about their estate planning needs.

The White House’s proposed budget now includes amending the recently enacted estate tax laws, lowering the exemption amount to $3.5 million. While this proposed changed would not be effective for several years, it creates a lack of certainty surrounding the estate tax laws.

Despite the lingering questions about the future of the estate tax, it is important to establish an estate plan based on current laws. Keep your plans updated in accordance with current law.


Estate Planning Under the New Tax Law – NYTimes.com.

 April 26, 2013  Posted by at 5:06 pm No Responses »
Jan 042013

Now that the Senate and House have done some work to address the fiscal cliff, we know the future for the estate and gift tax.  The 2012 exclusion amount of $5.12 million is now set to remain in place.  The tax rate on estates in excess of that amount is now 40% (up from 35%).  The article linked below explains the revised statutes in detail.


 January 4, 2013  Posted by at 12:53 pm No Responses »