STRATEGIES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF 2012 ESTATE PLANNING OPPORTUNITIES
The window of opportunity to make large gifts in a tax-efficient manner is scheduled to close at the end of this year. Perhaps you are already considering making significant gifts this year or are being advised by your friends, family members or advisers to make these gifts before it is "too late" to do so come 2013. The discussion below summarizes why 2012 may provide a special opportunity to make large gifts and planning options that take into account some related issues.
The 2012 opportunity
The current federal estate and gift tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax exemption for each individual is $5,120,000 (resulting in up to $10,240,000 of exemption for married couples). Absent congressional action, on January 1, 2013, the estate and gift tax exemptions are scheduled to revert to $1,000,000 and the GST exemption is scheduled to be about $1,400,000. In addition, in 2013 the current top transfer tax rates of 35 percent would increase to 55 percent. Of course, there are other possible legislative outcomes. The bottom line is that if the gift, estate and GST exemptions in future years are, in fact, less than the current $5,120,000, making large gifts before the current law sunsets at the end of the year may provide significant estate tax savings later.
What if you are not sure you want to give away so much of your wealth?
You will want to take many factors into consideration in deciding how much you can afford to give away and, just as important, would be comfortable giving away. Below are several strategies that may increase your level of comfort in making large gifts in 2012.
What if your disposable assets are not the "ideal" type to use to make gifts?
There is no single type of asset that is the best to use in making gifts in all contexts. Gifts of cash are easy to make, are easy to value and have no built-in appreciation. But what if your disposable assets consist largely of low-basis stock? Or if your assets are illiquid, as may be the case if a significant portion of your net worth consists of real estate, works of art or a family business? In such a case, you may wish to consider one of the following strategies.
What if you are afraid of having "too much" end up in the hands of your children?
For any number of reasons, you may feel inheriting more than a certain amount of property could be detrimental to your children and their own families, and you may have qualms about making gifts of the full 2012 gift tax exemption amount of $5,120,000 (or $10,240,000 for married couples). While you need to decide what will be right for your family, there are several ways to address this concern using a trust.
Please let us know if you would like to discuss making gifts before the end of the year.
President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2013, released in February of this year, proposes a number of changes to the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax laws. Although many of the changes have been proposed in the past without being enacted, these proposals are likely to be among the items under consideration as Congress contemplates the looming increase in federal transfer taxes next year. The following summarizes the key proposals in the budget plan:
These proposals have not yet been introduced as legislation and would not take effect until next year, so no immediate action is necessary. However, if you have not updated your estate planning documents in the past few years, this may be an appropriate time for a more comprehensive review of your estate plan to ensure that it still meets your estate planning needs and objectives.
Partner Tasha K. Dickinson presents the webinar, "Welcome to the Sunshine State: Establishing Residency in Florida," hosted by at PNC Wealth Management on April 22.
Justin M. Hannan authored the article, "IRS Issues Final Carried Interest Regulations," on the Boston Bar Association's Trusts and Estates Blog.
Daniela P. Catrocho and Richard D. Sanders authored the article, "Retroactive Tax Legislation and Gift Planning in 2021," which was published in the New Jersey Law Journal.
On March 18, Day Pitney Partners Dina Kapur Sanna and Carl Merino will participate at the 16th Annual International Estate Planning Institute hosted by the New York Bar Association and the New York chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP NY).
Partner Dina Kapur Sanna will co-chair the 16th Annual International Estate Planning Institute: Part 2, hosted by the New York Bar Association and the New York chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP NY).
Day Pitney's announcement that it will expand its East Coast presence through a merger with Rhode Island-based firm Howland Evangelista Kohlenberg LLP was featured in the Palm Beach Daily News' Business Notes section.
Senior Associate Justin M. Hannan and Partner Stephen Ziobrowski were quoted in the Law360 Tax Authority article, "Carried Interest Regs Leave Uncertainty On Family Managers."
Day Pitney Managing Partner Thomas D. Goldberg was featured in the Law360 Pulse article, "Day Pitney's Managing Partner Talks Growth Into RI, Beyond," regarding recent announcement of merger with Howland Evangelista Kohlenberg.
Day Pitney Managing Partner Thomas D. Goldberg was quoted in the Connecticut Law Tribune article, "Day Pitney Acquires Rhode Island Firm in Bid to Better Service High-Net-Worth Clients," regarding the firm's merger with Howland Evangelista Kohlenberg.
Day Pitney Press Release