Estate Tax Planning

Estate tax planning is a serious consideration for clients with significant wealth and assets.

Attorney Derek Underwood can assist clients with gifting, anonymous donations, retained life estates, as well as more sophisticated strategies where appropriate.

A simple strategy is to preserve the portability of the estate-tax exemption (sometimes referred to as a deduction or exclusion) towards a surviving spouse. However, this alone is not always adequate to minimize estate taxes.

Charitable giving strategies, often involving charitable remainder trusts, family limited partnerships or family foundations, can remove assets from a future estate while creating a meaningful legacy for people or organizations that are near and dear to a client.

Family limited partnerships offer significant flexibility and may hold various assets including real estate, business interests and investments. They also provide a way for a client to exercise some control over assets and even to shift income away from the client to heirs who may have lower income tax obligations.

A private split-dollar strategy is another option for clients with significant wealth. It involves the interplay between an irrevocable trust and high value life insurance.

Sometimes a combination of customized strategies work best to meet a client’s needs in terms of minimizing estate taxes and leaving a legacy for the future.