When you are making an estate plan, you probably want to make sure that you are leaving assets behind for your beneficiaries. You don’t want to leave anyone with a big tax bill. Unfortunately, some parts of your estate are going to be taxable. A Rockland County estate planning attorney can help you reduce that bill for estate taxes though. We will help you figure out what kind of plan works best for you based on your assets and what you would like to do with them.

Can Giving Gifts Reduce Estate Taxes?

Giving out gifts while you are still alive is one way to reduce how much your estate is taxed after you are gone. There are multiple ways to give away your money to friends, family, and loved ones without running afoul of the IRS or other regulators. You can give money to your spouse, your children, and your grandchildren while reducing your tax obligations.

You can give tax-free gifts to anyone you would like to provided the total that you give them does not exceed $17,000. So, as an example, you could give one your children a gift of $8,500 at Christmas and another gift of $8,500 for their birthday, and they do not have to worry about being taxed on either gift. It is also important to note that you and your spouse each have your own limit, so the two of you can actually give up to $34,000 to one person in one year as a gift without violating any rules about gift taxes.

Can Giving to Charity Reduce Estate Taxes?

Giving to charity is another great way to reduce estate taxes. When you give away money, you are reducing the value of your estate. That means that there is less left over to tax. Depending on how much you have and how much you give away, you may not even be subject to a state or federal estate tax by the time your arrangements are made.

Charitable gifts can be made directly or through the use of trusts. There are a few different kinds of charitable trusts that you can make use of. We can help you structure them in a way that allows you to support both your beneficiaries and any causes that are near and dear to your heart.

Can Trusts Help Lower a Tax Bill?

And speaking of trusts, there are also additional kinds of trusts that can help you structure your estate and give assets to beneficiaries while minimizing worries over tax bills. Marital trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, and irrevocable life insurance trusts are all options that you may want to explore when you meet with our attorneys.

Contact Our Law Firm

When you are ready to craft a comprehensive estate plan, do not go it alone. Talk to the professionals at the Lauterbach Law Firm. Our attorneys would be happy to guide you through this process.