Estate Planning & Tax Savings: An Overview

Estate Planning & Tax Savings: An Overview - Bob ShawDespite what folks may believe, tax savings are not the only reason to create an estate plan. Why? Well, many people think that estate planning only applies to individuals who have to pay estate taxes. The planning, however, is valuable for many reasons beyond tax purposes.

Far fewer estates are now subject to estate tax, because the federal exemption is $5,450,000. For New York State residents, the estate tax exemption is currently $4,187,500‚ÄĒand as of April 1st of 2017‚ÄĒit will rise to $5,250,000.

Estate planning can be just as important for middle-class families or individuals who may never have to face an estate tax. Here are a few examples:

  • If they own a business, they may want to leave it to one child, particularly if that child is active in the business. But, if they also want to equalize their estate for other children who are not as actively involved, assets would have to be divided under an estate plan. Life insurance is an option that is often used in this situation.
  • If there is a disabled child in the family, it’s important to do estate planning that will coordinate the assets going to the child with their government benefits.
  • If the intended beneficiaries are going through a divorce or they have creditor issues, creating a trust is an important option.

Another estate planning option is to participate in gifting, including charitable contributions, over the course of their lifetime.  

Finally, estate planning should be a team effort. A good estate planning attorney will work with the client’s accountant and financial planner, as well as other key members of the team, to gain a better overall picture of their assets.

Contact us today with questions or comments regarding estate planning and tax saving.

Robert Shaw

Robert W. Shaw, Esq.
(914) 328-1222

E-mail Bob


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Robert W. Shaw is licensed in New York.