estate tax planning
Estate tax planning is a process, rather than a result. The process involves reviewing assets, marital status, charitable intent, and tax law, and all of these change from time to time. The key issue is to make certain assets go to the correct people or institutions in the correct manner. The tax law is secondary to that key issue. Now, once the correct beneficiaries are identified, and the correct manner is discovered, then the tax implications loom large.
What I mean by “in the correct manner” changes per every situation. One beneficiary could be older and sick, requiring a supplemental needs trust. One beneficiary could be too young to manage assets, requiring a corporate trustee or a competent family mentor-trustee. One beneficiary could be horrible with money (regardless of age) and may require a great deal of planning to help. Planning for beneficiaries is what can really make the difference. The IRS never asks for 100% of your assets, while leaving your money haphazardly could waste 100% of your assets.