From Our Blog
After Tax Reform, Is Estate Planning Still Necessary?
The new tax legislation raises the federal estate tax exemption to $11.2 million for individuals and $22.4 million for couples. The increase means that an exceedingly small number of estates (only about 1,800, nationally) will have to worry about federal estate taxes in 2018, according to estimates from the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
So, you may be wondering, is estate planning even still necessary?
To put it simply: Yes!
Comprehensive estate planning does a lot more than guard against you owing federal estate taxes. Other than taxes, you and your family likely face a range of estate planning challenges, such as:
- Distribution of your assets. Create your legacy with the help of tools like a trust and/or a last will and testament.
- If you die without a will, state intestacy laws determine where your stuff goes. You lose control, and the people closest to you may feel hurt or may suffer financially.
- If your estate plans do not include asset protection strategies, your lifetime of hard work and savings could be squandered needlessly.
- Cognitive impairment. Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other disorders could make handling your own affairs impossible or at least ill-advised. Executing a durable power of attorney (POA), for instance, allows you to choose a person, referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to step in and manage your financial affairs on