Estate and Gift Tax
Minimize wealth transfer taxes
Our clients face a myriad of potential wealth transfer taxes (sometimes referred to generally as “death taxes”) including state inheritance taxes, the federal gift tax, the federal estate tax, and the federal generation-skipping transfer tax. Additionally, decisions made in estate planning and estate administration can greatly impact your income tax obligations and the income tax consequences felt by your heirs and beneficiaries.
Before you make a plan, let us analyze the tax consequences
Failing to understand the tax ramifications of a particular transaction or plan can have severe consequences. We assess your unique circumstances and recommend a plan based on the heart of estate planning—tax law. This is particularly important in the current political atmosphere, when the future of the federal wealth transfer taxes seems to be constantly changing.
Individual circumstances define the best transfer plan
For example, let us briefly examine an outright lifetime gift of highly-appreciated property to a child. This action removes the property and its future income tax liability from the donor’s estate. However, if that gift is deferred until the donor’s death, all the prior appreciation escapes income taxation because of the step-up in the tax basis of most assets that occurs upon death. In other circumstances, lifetime gifts in specialized trusts such as grantor retained annuity trusts or sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts can save enormous amounts of federal gift and estate taxes.
In short, there is no universal “right” answer – we will work with you to examine all possible tax consequences of your estate plan.