Just when you thought the estate tax laws were permanent, President Barack Obama comes out with a comprehensive plan for changes that would take away many strategies that save wealthy families taxes.
As we've said before, estate planning is not a one-time project. As life changes, you need to make adjustments to your plan. And the same notion goes for any changes in the law.
Now that President Obama has released the full details of his latest budget proposals and experts have had time to review them, details are emerging about some of the big changes that could be in store for wealthy families' estate plans if the budget proposals pass.
Forbes has a complete rundown of the proposed changes in an article titled "Obama Budget Would Upend Estate Plans."
While you will want to read the original article, here are some of the highlights:
- Reducing the estate tax exemption to 2009 levels and increasing the top tax rate.
- Reducing the lifetime gift exemption.
- Placing restrictions on grantor retained annuity trusts.
- Eliminating the step-up basis on capital gains for heirs.
President Obama has also proposed a whole host of other tax changes designed to force wealthy individuals to pay more in taxes. While not all of the President's proposals will pass Congress, many of them might.
Consequently, it is very important that you pay attention to what these tax hikes might mean for your taxes and your estate plan. If the laws change, you may need to change your estate plan as soon as you possibly can.
Be sure to consult an experienced estate planning attorney sooner rather than later.