Tax Planning for Estates, Trusts, and Charity

Carpe diem! What a wonderful opportunity you have now to transfer wealth without estate tax.

Federal gift and estate tax generally doesn’t affect households with net worth under $22 million and CA has no estate tax. A bit of planning today can get the money where you want it, avoiding hefty fees, lengthy court delays, or unnecessary income taxation along the way. Larger estates require more planning. Though I am not a lawyer and can’t prepare or review documents from a legal perspective, I do look over documents from a planner’s perspective. Because I am not an attorney, I can review overall estate planning strategies without selling costly time or documentation. I have prepared trust and CRT returns for years, and additionally have studied trust tax at Golden Gate University, where I now teach estate planning.

Let us consider gift tax and gifting strategies, principal residence trusts (QPRTs), life insurance trusts (ILITs), and charitable remainder trusts.

Together, we will answer these questions: How can trusts be used to manage estates or make plans to protect heirs that can’t be thwarted? The estate tax doesn’t yet threaten most of us, but how can families use real estate, muni bonds, annuities, or retirement plans best to reduce income tax and get the most to heirs?

Questions to consider:

  • If you have plans for the hereafter, will they be thwarted by intruding relatives or government?

  • Will your children, grandchildren, and charities receive what you desire?

  • Will there be conflict or confusion at your deathbed or thereafter?

  • Have you picked the right trustees and guardians for children?

  • Do you have all the right documents in place?

“Tax the rich, feed the poor, ’til there are no rich no more.” — Song by Ten Years After