When you see an article with the headline "IRS Announces 2015 Estate and Gift Tax Limits," your reaction is to run as fast as you can OR to actually read the article. I know personally whenever I hear the words "IRS" or "tax" it doesn't necessarily give me that warm and fuzzy feeling. I would suspect many of you feel the same way. However, as an attorney I look forward to these headlines so I can better serve my clients. It is generally at this time of year that I encourage folks to review their assets, both probate and nonprobate. Trust me, it is always important to have this list as current as possible.
For those of you who have assets that require some type of tax planning I encourage you to read this article so you are up to date with the current figures. Then, I encourage you to take out your estate planning documents and review them to make sure those names listed in your documents ARE STILL the names you want listed in your documents. Lastly, I encourage you to contact your estate planning attorney to review your documents to make sure they still achieve your tax planning goals. Always keep in mind when I talk about estate planning documents it includes also reviewing your nonprobate assets and beneficiary designations.
If you want to run as fast as you can when you see a headline like "IRS Announces 2015 Estate and Gift Tax Limits" STOP!!! You might not believe it but with the tax changes made in 2012, I highly encourage you to read this article. Next, I encourage you to contact an estate planning attorney to review your list of probate and nonprobate assets, as well as your estate planning documents, which includes your Will, Powers of Attorney, etc.
Now more than ever it is always important to be responsible and educated with any changes or updates made to taxes, regardless of what your assets look like.
Our 2015 Estate, Gift & Generation-Skipping Tax Exemptions & Rates Chart has additional estate tax planning information.