Taxes seem to be one of the hot topics these days, especially on the presidential campaign trail. Regardless of which party controls Congress or the White House at any point in time, as taxpayers, we need to deal with the current tax laws and regulations on an annual basis at minimum. Whether we agree or disagree with the recent and future compromises reached by our Representatives, Senators, and Administration, we all have to pay taxes comes April 15th, so it makes sense to understand the issues and financial realities of the tax laws that affect us personally.
The hottest of the tax topics being discussed lately are personal income tax rates for various levels of earners, as well as corporations that pay little taxes on big profits, because they squeeze through legal loopholes. Another tax topic, which does not generate as much discussion on the campaign trail or receive as much publicity, is the Estate Tax. (PDF version of IRS document: Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes).
Despite not being the hottest of hot topics, a question about estate taxes was recently asked of President Obama by a family farmer in Illinois who was at the final stop of his recent bus tour through in the Midwest. The President’s response basically stated that he was in favor of a compromise between the current rates and the rates of 2001. We’ll see what changes might eventually be passed as new law, but for now we have to consider the current federal and California Estate Tax laws.
Every year, unfortunately, many of us need to deal with the financial realities of a loved one passing on and the estate left behind. On a more positive note, babies born each year also need to be considered in family estate planning strategies. A large gift to a family member, perhaps as a wedding present, is also a positive event that you may need to account for comes tax time. Beyond the emotional and perhaps highly-stressful impact of these types of dramatic family occurrences is a similar need to fully-understand all of the implications of your legal and financial options, because you will need to forever live with the decisions you make at these important moments.
The Law Offices of Connie Yi, P.C., with several offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, uniquely specializes in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, because our founder Connie Yi is an experience Certified Public Accountant and a California Tax Attorney, as well as a licensed Real Estate Broker. She is able to provide legal services and advice from a broad and experienced perspective that includes a deep understanding of the relationship between the tax laws and your financial and real estate assets, which will best serve your estate planning and probate tax law needs.
As is the case with many highly political and controversial aspects of our country’s economic foundation, estate tax and gift tax laws and rates change, so your estate planning should, too, accordingly. If you have questions or concerns about a current estate and/or gift tax situation, or about estate planning for your family’s future, please contact us for a free consultation.