Why it may be critical to plan for your estate before Jan. 1

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Why It May Be Critical to Plan for Your Estate Before Jan. 1

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all rest assured that our loved ones would be taken care of after we were gone? Further, wouldn't it also be wonderful if we knew our assets, the fruits of our lifetime of labor, would aid in ensuring this continued well being of loved ones after our passing?

All of this is absolutely possible, but it won't be delivered by a fairy godmother waving a magic wand. It takes initiative on behalf of an individual to begin the estate planning process. Some may feel overwhelmed because they don't know where to start. The aid of experienced legal counsel can answer any and all questions, while serving as a guide to ensure an individual's final wishes are enacted.

So when is the right time for an individual to take the initiative to begin estate planning in Los Angeles? Never was there a truer saying than the adage of "no time like the present" - then, well, the present. For individuals facing more complex estate planning that also largely involves tax planning, a possibly significant deadline is looming Jan. 1, 2013.

This is the date that the current federal tax rate is set to roll back to the levels of a decade ago. This means that high tax exemptions are set to expire, so if an individual would like to make a substantial gift -- which would serve to reduce the amount of their estate, which would mean fewer assets from the estate would be subjected to taxation at an individual's time of death -- now is an opportune time to do so.

If you know that you want your loved ones to be taken care of, then it may be time to start estate planning. An experience estate planning attorney can guide an individual through the process with their extensive knowledge regarding tax planning, business succession and asset preservation.

Source: Market Watch, "No playing chicken with estate tax deadline," Charles Passy, Oct. 2, 2012

Categories: Estate Planning
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