Time to Reevaluate Your Estate Plan

The turn of the year is often a good time to review short and long-term financial objectives and strategies, particularly as they interrelate with your estate plan.  Right now, this process is more critical than ever for several reasons:

  • Both the federal and New York State exemptions are greater in 2017 than they were in 2016, meaning that some strategies you may have employed to guard against taxes are now outdated.
  • The tax landscape is expected to shift sharply with the new administration.  There is discussion of significant changes, including repeal of the estate and gift tax and elimination of the basis step up at death.  Being aware of these potential changes ahead of time will give you greater flexibility in planning.
  • Some proposed rules regarding the treatment of shares in family businesses seem to have stalled, providing more strategic options for allocating shares in such businesses.
  • New York has changed its gift tax laws, requiring more forethought in distributing assets.
  • Connecticut has implemented some changes to the laws governing powers of attorney, providing greater control over how designees may act on your behalf.

Further details are in our Year End Trusts & Estates Client Update.  We encourage you to review the update and get in touch with your Holm & O’Hara LLP attorney to discuss how these and other prospective developments might impact your planning.

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