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Dedicated & Experienced Attorneys

Estate Tax Planning Attorney in Torrance, CA

Hard-working people dedicate their lives to supporting their families and understandably wish to pass down what they own to future generations for their care and benefit. Most people are aware that the government taxes estates upon death, but few understand the details of the complicated and ever-changing tax laws. A qualified Torrance estate planning attorney at the Law Offices of James C. Shields will review your total financial picture and work to ensure your spouse and children inherit the most from your hard work and dedication.

Call us today at (310) 626-4404 for your free initial consultation.

The Unified Gift and Estate Tax

The purpose of the Unified Gift and Estate Tax is to tax transfers of wealth passing down from generation to generation. The gift tax applies to transfers of wealth during a person's lifetime, and the estate tax applies to money passed down after a person's death. Individuals can minimize their "taxable estate" during their lifetime to rest assured their loved ones then receive the bulk of their assets, not the government.

Minimize Your Taxable Estate to Maximize Your Family's Inheritance:

There are many ways to minimize a taxable estate to maximize future inheritances:

  • Lifetime Gifts – An obvious way to reduce the size of an estate is to make lifetime gifts. The gift tax exemption is an amount of money an individual can give to another without paying a gift tax to reduce the size of their taxable estate upon death.
  • Charitable Donations – Lifetime gifts and bequests to qualifying charities are exempt from the estate tax and gift tax. A charitable trust is a useful tool in reducing a person's taxable estate while helping others in need. The trust will pay back income to the donor during his or her lifetime, and the charity will receive the remainder.
  • Private Annuities – A private annuity involving selling an asset to a third party or family member, and then receiving lifetime income back as payment. A property owner can accomplish this with real estate, a family business, securities or other assets. Since the property owner is selling the property and not giving it away, the transaction is not subject to the gift tax and will not be part of a taxable estate upon death.
  • Trusts – There are many types of trusts that can help a person minimize their probate estate, lessening their estate tax liability. They are useful in allowing spouses to each maximize their allotted exemption amount so the bulk of their property goes to their children or other beneficiaries.

Our South Bay Estate Tax Attorneys Plan for the Future

These are only some of the options available to individuals to minimize their estate tax liability. A qualified Torrance estate planning lawyer will review your financial picture, explore all options available and formulate a comprehensive estate tax plan so that your loved ones receive the most from your lifetime of hard work and dedication.

Contact our professionals at the Law Offices of James C. Shields to learn about how estate tax planning can benefit your family. Call (310) 626-4404 for your free initial consultation.

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