One of President Donald Trump’s big campaign promises was tax reform which specifically included the repeal of the Federal Estate Tax. While there has been no proposed legislation regarding tax reform just yet, the House Committee on Ways and Means will be meeting soon to discuss a plan.
Currently, the estate tax is at 40% with an exemption of up to $5.49 million for individuals and $10.98 million for married couples. While this amount is quite large, it is not difficult for many upper-middle class clients to have a large enough estate when their life insurance and other assets are included. However, even for clients with more modest estates, no matter what Trump plans to do with the estate tax, it is important to have a basic estate plan in place to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
However, if estate tax repeal does happen, Trump has proposed replacing it with a capital gains tax on inherited assets which will affect even more clients than the estate tax. Laws that impact estate planning are constantly changing. Make sure you meet with a qualified elder law attorney who can make sure your estate plan is meeting your goals no matter what changes may occur.