Jun 17, 2011

Unprecedented gifting opportunities...

People with significant assets are currently enjoying an  extraordinary opportunity to transfer more wealth to loved ones, estate tax and gift tax-free. But you know what they say: The IRS giveth and the IRS taketh away. December 31, 2012 is a taketh-away day, so don't drag your feet if you want to capitalize on this opportunity.

The estate tax, gift tax and generation-skipping tax were unified under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Compensation Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. The law set the exemption at $5 million, with a 35% tax rate. Thus you may now give away $5 million - in life and/or death - without incurring any estate or gift taxes. If you have a spouse, together you may give away twice that amount tax-free.  If like so many people you have loved ones who ahave been hurt by this recession - the biggest economic downturn since the Depression - spreading your wealth around could do a lot of good. 

There are a variety of ways to pass your funds to others, both during your lifetime and after. Check out these wealth transfer and tax planning strategies.  Feel free to contact our lawyers to determine the best way to structure your bequests and gifts.

Note that you can still makes gifts up to $13,000 per year to as many individuals as you wish without impacting your lifetime exemption. Moreover, a gift to someone in any amount may be made if the gift goes directly to a medical or educational institution.

Remember, this unprecedented tax climate will last only so long. On January 1, 2013, unless Congress takes action, the tax code will revert back to its 2001 levels: A $1,000,000 lifetime gift tax exemption, and $1,000,000 estate tax exemption, with a top tax rate of 55%. Consider acting now, before the window of opportunity slams shut on you... and on your loved ones.

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