In a new Rasmussen poll released last week, we learned that just 3 percent of Americans believe Congress is doing an “excellent” job. Just 7 percent say the job they’re doing is “good”. The other 90 percent say Congress is doing either “fair” (28 percent) or “poor” (59 percent). One reason could be because what little movement there is on Capitol Hill affects so few Americans. One example is the passage of a bill by the House of Representatives last month. This bill focuses on repealing the estate tax.
Why it Matters Little
The bill passed 240 -179. It passed, however, with Representatives knowing it would never get past the Senate nor would it ever make it to President Obama’s desk. More importantly, the estate tax does not affect any estate that’s not valued at $5.43 million or $10.9 million for married couples. Most Americans’ estates won’t hit that limit. For those whose estates are valued at $5.43 million, the heirs are the ones who pay the taxes if the deceased did not make arrangements in their estate plan. Most incorporate any number of strategies to ensure their loved ones are not hit with a high tax bill, such as an insurance police in play solely to cover the approximately 40 percent that’s paid on the value of these estates.
Less than 1% of all estates will have to pay the massive estate tax.
If You Are Among the 1 Percent
If your estate does hit the magic number, we encourage you to consult your estate planning attorney to put those safeguards in place. As mentioned, there are a number of ways to accomplish this, including a life insurance policy, gifting your assets while you’re still alive and several other options you may not be aware of. All of these methods would effectively reduce the value of an estate and help those families affected by estate tax keep their property. You worked your entire life to earn it, the last thing that should happen is it not benefit your loved ones. We can help you avoid that.
The Estate Tax Hot Button
As we’re nearing another election season, you can expect many candidates to use the estate tax quagmire as a way to garner votes. Those who are informed know that the ones who are really listening will be the 1 percent whose estates will actually be affected. Repealing it is great, but ideally, our political candidates will focus more on those issues that affect more Americans.
Your estate plan is too important to leave to chance and regardless of your net worth, proper planning is crucial. If you’d like to learn more about the tax options associated with your estate or if you’re concerned about life after retirement, we welcome the opportunity to discuss these and any other issues that arise. Contact the qualified estate planning lawyers at DeBruyckere Law Offices, PC.