Feb 21, 2012

The President's proposed budget

President Obama's recently proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 has a number of items that will interest seniors and their families. 

First, the budget assumes a cost of living increase for Social Security. This is good news, given the several COLA-less years before the most recent adjustment. And with everything pointing to oil prices heading north, the cost of just about everything else will follow suit.

The budget also contains a serious increase in funding for research into Alzheimer's Disease, and for services to assist patients and families. Finding a cure for this disease will be a blessing for families, and help reduce the pressure on national and local health resources struggling to keep up with our aging Baby Boomer population.

As to the always contentious issue of estate taxes: The proposed budget would set the 2013 tax structure back to where it was in 2009. This would mean a lifetime exemption per individual of $3.5M (it's currently $5.12M), with a top tax rate of 45%. level. The gift tax exclusion would be $1M, and would no longer be unfied with the estate tax. And the existing portability provision, allowing a person to tap into any unused portion of a spouse's estate tax or gift tax exclusion, would remain in place. Of course, this is just a proposed budget. The past few years have not exactly been a paragon of bipartisan unity, so we'll see what the Administration and Congress finally agree on - if they can agree at all. If they can't agree on an estate tax law, on Jan. 1, 2013 the law will automatically revert to what it was in 2001, before the Bush tax cuts: $1M per person, no portability. That would mean a whole different estate planning ballgame for many Americans.

As always, I'll continue to keep my ear to the ground for my readers.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...