I will explain the process and discuss what plan will be best for you. Many people will benefit from avoiding probate while others need tax planning. I will visit with you about your estate and determine what is best for you.
In 2009 only estates worth more than $3.5 million are subject to the Federal Estate Tax. In 2010 there will be no Federal Estate Tax and then in 2011 it reverts back to only $1 million. The minimum Federal Estate Tax rate is 39%. Most observers believe the government will act before 2010 and that we will not experience a year without an estate tax.
It is a topic that is worth watching closely. I anticipate that we will end up with a $1 million tax exemption. Many clients are surprised to learn that their estate is subject to the Federal Estate Tax. There are numerous family farms in Kansas who neither feel wealthy or live a life of luxury, but with Kansas farm ground climbing in value from $300-$500 an acre just a decade ago to $1,500-$2,000 an acre currently, it doesn't take much ground or machinery to push you past the $1 million threshold. A couple with a $1.5 million estate could easily avoid the paying of any estate taxes with some simple planning. But with no planning will leave their heirs with a $195,000 tax debt. That's right - $195,000 - with a minimum tax rate of 39% the estate tax adds up quickly.
I provide several services, from simple Wills, Living Trusts, and Transfer of Death Deeds to the preparation of Limited Family Partnerships and Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts for people with larger estates who need more aggressive estate planning.