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The Importance of Sound Estate Planning Following Tax Reform

When the Republican-backed tax reform plan was under consideration late last year, it included provisions that affected estate planning. Whether or not you support the changes, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides everyone with a reminder that planning for the future is something to do sooner rather than later.

The “Death Tax”

The federal estate tax is a levy of 40 percent that, prior to 2018, was applied to the value of estates exceeding $5.6 million for an individual and $11.2 million for married couples. The tax reform bill doubles the tax exemption which can be claimed by an estate, allowing a person’s heirs to realize savings on the so-called “death tax.” Proper planning can help minimize the impact the federal estate tax has on your family’s inheritance.

Why is an Estate Plan Necessary?

If a person dies without a properly filed and notarized will, the decision of who receives their assets and property will be left to the state. The current laws of the state where they resided will determine who is a family member and who is entitled to a portion of the inheritance.

Surveys have shown that more than 50 percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 do not have a will. If you die without a will, your property will go into probate, and this could result in a huge tax bill for your family, greatly reducing the amount of inheritance to be passed to surviving family members.

Other reasons to create an estate plan include:

  • When assets are in probate, family members cannot access those funds to help pay funeral and burial costs. Pre-paying those expenses can save surviving members from bearing those costs.
  • Sound estate planning can also ensure that you have the funds necessary to cover medical expenses required later in your life.
  • In the event you wish to divide your wealth among charities and other organizations, those wishes cannot be contested if included in your will.
Plan for the Future with a Knowledgeable California Trust and Estate Attorney

While no one really likes to think about death, proper estate planning can help a person minimize stress and confusion when all they really want to do is enjoy the peace of their remaining days. To ensure the wealth you worked so hard to build is passed to your heirs according to your wishes, SAC Attorneys LLP can walk you through the legal and financial regulations to prepare a fair and solid estate plan. Call an experienced San Jose estate planning attorney at (408) 436-0789 today to schedule a free consultation and begin preparing for the future.


Client Reviews
Mr. Cai Is a Diligent Attorney. My sister and I were defendants in a civil litigation case. We hired James Cai and his law firm, SAC Attorneys LLP. Mr. Cai is a diligent attorney and responded to our questions in a timely fashion. He and his staff were very helpful in keeping us informed of the proceedings of the case and in explaining each step. Mr. Cai is also very conscientious of fees and costs, and avoided unnecessary charges. The results of the Summary Adjudication sided with us. The Court Trial resulted in the “Final Statement of Decision” and “Judgment after Court Trial” overwhelmingly siding with us. Cynthia F.
I Am Truly Impressed. After spending a significant amount of time, money and efforts with my previous counsel at a larger law firm without getting meaningful results, I transferred my employment matter to SAC Attorneys LLP. The attorneys there were able to understand the complex situations of my case and put together an aggressive litigation strategy. We were able to file a compelling complaint within a week and forced the opposing party, which was represented by one of the largest law firms in California, to make a substantial settlement offer shortly thereafter. I am truly impressed by the no nonsense and results oriented approach by SAC Attorneys LLP attorneys. A job well done! X. Gao
They Took Time to Understand Our Technology. I am the founder of a bioinformatics start-up in the Silicon Valley and chose SAC Attorneys LLP as our corporate counsels. Their attorneys have great experience with high tech start-ups and were able to offer a highly competitive service plan while not sacrificing a bit of their quality of services. They took time to understand our technology and provided value added services by introducing investors and job candidates to us. We regard our attorneys at SAC Attorneys LLP not only as our legal advisors but also our venture partners. Dr. Pete S.