A solid estate plan helps protect you from paying more than your share
Federal estate taxes can cost an estate dearly and reduce the amount of money your heirs can receive. There are a number of ways to reduce the size of your estate tax obligations, and in some cases, you may not have to pay any taxes at all. The Fresno lawyers at Gilmore Magness Leifer guide you through the steps necessary to reduce or eliminate your estate tax burden. You can trust in the firm’s decades of experience, as it has served the Central Valley since 1939.
Estate planning options that help you avoid estate taxes
There are a number of ways to avoid paying high estate taxes. As of 2015, estates valued at less than $5.43 million do not have to pay estate taxes at all. Estates that are valued above that mark can have their tax obligations reduced through gifts — charitable or otherwise. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can set up a trust that protects assets from taxes, while allowing you to continue accessing your money. Hiring an attorney is also helpful to avoid an audit of your estate due to incomplete paperwork or questions about appraisal. This is especially important for large and complex estates, in which even the smallest mistakes can have significant ramifications.
The firm’s team of talented Fresno attorneys helps you avoid paying estate tax in a number of ways, including:
Trusts. You can set up a trust that transfers property, such as a house, to a trust. You can continue to live in the house while you are alive, and then pass it on to your heirs upon your death.
Gifts. Under federal law, you are allowed to give up to $14,000 per year to as many individuals as you like without triggering federal gift taxes. This can be a useful way of transferring funds from your estate to your heirs early and avoiding estate taxes entirely.
Transfer to spouse. If you are married and transferring money solely to your spouse, you do not have to pay estate taxes on those funds.
Protect your assets with proper estate planning
Most estates large enough to qualify for estate tax payments are also very complex. An accurate appraisal of all of your assets might be very difficult without the help of a skilled and knowledgeable estate planning attorney. This Fresno law firm can help you sort through the relevant laws and preserve your assets for your heirs.