At Golub Group we highly encourage our clients to review their estate plan with their attorney at least every five years, or whenever there is a major change in the law or their personal situation.
Having an up-to-date estate plan is a key part of sound financial planning. At our annual client VISION conference, where we invite industry experts to present on important topics with our financial advisors, we focused one of our sessions on estate planning. Our discussion included the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which was passed in Dec 2017 and the important points of the law as they pertain to estate planning:
- It provides for an approximate doubling of the exemption amount to $11.18 million per person, adjusted annually for inflation. Married couples will be able to transfer a combined $22.36 million.
- This exemption is scheduled to remain in effect for 8 years and will revert to approximately $6 million per individual in 2026.
- Property transferred in excess of the increased exemption will continue to be taxed at a rate of 40%.
- It affects lifetime gifts, estate taxes and generation-skipping taxes.
- Basis step-up is unchanged (i.e., tax basis increases to the date of death valuation).
- Portability is unchanged (i.e., the ability to leave an unused exemption to a surviving spouse remains).
At Golub Group, we also believe that our clients’ financial plans should have actionable next steps to ensure progress towards their goals. Please review the following action items as well as the attached estate planning checklist, and reach out to us with any questions.
- Review your estate plan with us, and if necessary, your attorney
- Talk to us about large gifts if your estate is above the threshold or you expect it to be. As a reminder, there is an unlimited gift tax exclusion for bills paid on behalf of others (children, grandchildren, etc.) directly to medical care providers and educational institutions.
- If charitably inclined, let’s review your financial plan and consider the use of a Donor Advised Fund and/or charitable trusts