An important component of every estate plan is a durable power of attorney and an advance health care directive. These documents give a person the authority to act on behalf of another person. For many people, however, these forms have not been reviewed or updated in many years. Common problems include the failure to name an alternate agent in the event the named agent is unable to act and insufficient powers that would enable the agent to take action in a number of important areas. These forms and your trust should be reviewed and revised, if needed, at least every seven (7) years.
Major Estate Tax and Gift Tax Changes Beginning January 1, 2013.
Estate Tax Exemption: A person dying in 2013 can transfer up to $5.25 million ($10.5 million for a married couple) at death without paying estate tax. The $5.25 million exemption is also inflation-adjusted, so the exemption will be higher in future years.
Maximum Estate Tax Rate:The maximum estate tax rate is 40%.
Gift Tax Exclusion:The "tax free" gift exclusion for 2013 is $14,000. This means that a person can give a total of $14,000 to another person during 2013 without filing a gift tax return related to that gift.
Many revocable living trusts contain complicated provisions (known as an "AB" Trust) that were originally designed to reduce or eliminate estate taxes. However, with the new $5.25 million estate tax exemption, most estates will not be subject to the estate tax. Contact our office at (760) 200-4709 to schedule an appointment to review and revise, simplify your existing trust.
77-772 Flora Road, Suite C
Palm Desert, CA 92211