People in Georgia and across the United States may be wondering how to best take advantage of the recent changes to federal tax law, especially in terms of estate planning. As of the start of this year, higher exemptions for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes went into effect. The exemptions, which were doubled with the passage of the bill, are now set at $11,180,000 for a single person and $22,360,000 for a married couple. These amounts are scheduled to be adjusted upward every year to reflect inflation rates.
When drafting an estate plan, it’s natural to gravitate toward handling the usual assets. Bank accounts, property and other investments are likely to be a main priority, and that’s still par for the course. As technology continues to affect our lives in new ways, however, there comes an accumulation of a different sort of asset that warrants consideration.
Georgia entrepreneurs should make sure that their estate plans include the appropriate legal tools and documents that can ensure that their business will continue to grow after their death. Proper estate planning can also assist with distributing wealth equally and reducing estate taxes.
The tax bill passed by the GOP-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December 2017 could have consequences for many aspects of financial life for people in Georgia and across the United States. In particular, it could affect many people's estate plans.
Georgia residents may be wise to take steps to avoid letting their estates slip into probate after they pass away. The probate process can be time-consuming and costly. Furthermore, it takes place in public and may cause additional stress to grieving heirs. Removing assets from an estate by giving gifts is one way to avoid probate, but most estate planning experts advocate the use of trusts as it allows individuals to hold on to their property. Trusts also give testators control over how and when their assets will be distributed.