Estate Tax Planning and Preparation

Helping you reduce unnecessary estate tax liability

The federal estate tax is an onerous and far-reaching assessment on your right to transfer property upon your death. Although the estate tax often changes annually, it affects high-income estates much more than others. Businesspeople and entrepreneurs must be especially wary of the impact the estate tax could have on their ability to pass property to individuals and organizations that they care about. Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. attorneys closely monitor the latest developments regarding the estate tax and understand the methods available for legally reducing your estate's liability. We work closely with clients to help them take proactive steps necessary to avoid paying more than necessary.

How the estate tax works

The estate tax applies to any estate with a value of more than the estate and gift exclusion -- $5.25 million per person and $10.5 million per married couple in 2013. This means that the vast majority of Americans do not have to pay estate tax because their assets fall below the exclusion amount. For those that do, however, the overflow is subject to a graduated tax that can reach as high as 40 percent at the upper levels. And this tax is not limited to your probate estate. It includes nearly all of the property you own or to which you have rights or control.

Minimizing estate tax liability

Because the coverage of the estate tax is so expansive, no quick fix is available for minimizing liability; it requires planning and foresight. Measured inter vivos -- or during life -- gifts to family members, testamentary charitable donations and the use of properly structured irrevocable trusts can all be means of reducing estate tax liability. Our estate planning lawyers at Coolidge Wall help you understand the actions you can take to reduce your exposure to the estate tax.

Coolidge Wall can help you avoid paying too much estate tax

The attorneys of Coolidge Wall use their knowledge of tax and estate planning law to help clients construct practical and effective strategies for reducing estate tax liability. Contact us and find out more about how we can contribute to your success.