Benjamin Franklin famously said: “[I]n this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Estate plans prepare and plan for these two certainties and frequently last for many years without need of updates. Significant changes in the law or your life can trigger the need to review your estate plan to ensure it remains legally sufficient and effective for you and your family.
Like us, your goals and longer-term planning strategies may have been altered by the changes brought on by the Covid 19 pandemic. The pause in our daily lives has caused many of our clients to seriously consider stepping back from their current occupations to spend more time with their families, to pursue personal goals, and/or business succession and retirement for the first time.
Like us, you have probably been inundated with contradictory and confusing information during this election year, including promises from both political parties they will make changes to the tax code which will likely impact you and your family. Some of these proposals would affect your gifting and investment strategies and how you handle business succession planning, if you own a small business. Some of these proposals may upend the assumptions upon which your estate planner based his or her recommendations for your estate plan. Whether you are younger and raising a family or older and midstream in a career, it is a good time to make sure your planning documents are a good fit for your personal situation and make the best use of current law.
Most experts agree whether the Republicans or Democrats win the Presidency or gain or lose control of Congress, taxes will increase after the election. Likely targets for increasing federal tax revenue include increases in income tax rates, increases in corporate tax rates, changes to employment taxes, increases in capital gains tax rates and changes to the rules concerning estate and gift taxes. Several proposals on the table are designed to raise tax revenue by lowering the estate and gift tax exemption from its current historic high level, so that more estates will be taxed.
The anticipated changes in the law and uncertainties arising from the COVID 19 pandemic have caused many of our clients to conclude it is time for a review of their estate plans and business succession plans to better position themselves for the coming changes. It is a good idea for everyone to have their estate plan reviewed periodically for legal sufficiency and to make sure your plan matches your current situation. We recommend a review at this volatile time. We especially recommend a review of your plan if your estate plan has not been updated since 2009, before Oklahoma repealed its estate tax.
Contact us to schedule a strategy session to help make sure your estate plan and business succession plan best utilize the evolving tax code.
Call us at 405-753-1504 to schedule your strategy session today! Or watch here to learn more about Rainey Law and how we can serve you!
 Benjamin Franklin Letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy on November 13, 1789.