How to Handle an Esate » Estate Taxes

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Estate Taxes

Learn what you need to know about Estate and Inheritance Taxes in PA

Estate Taxes

Estate taxes may be one of the most complicated issues that arise when you lose a loved one. Laws related to estate tax can change from year to year. Below is an overview addressing some of the most common issues.

Estate Tax Basics

Federal Estate Taxes: In this year, 2009, there is an exemption of up to $3,500,000 on estates. This means that if an estate is worth less than $3,500,000, no estate taxes will be due. But, if an estate is worth more than that, it will be taxed at 45% on any money over the exemption. Here are some examples.

State Inheritance Taxes. It's important to know the difference between an estate tax and an inheritance tax.

State inheritance rates vary from state to state, and not all states have an inheritance tax. Some of the states that do impose an inheritance tax are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Dakota, Tennessee, Michigan, Delaware, and Connecticut, just to name a few.

What You Can Do to Minimize Federal Estate Taxes

The most important thing you can do is assemble a team of professionals to assist you in developing an estate plan that can help minimize estate taxes for you and your family. This team should at the very least include a qualified estate planning attorney, Certified Public Accountant, and a financial advisor.

If you lost your loved one due to the negligence of another person, your personal injury attorney should assist you in coordinating your estate planning team .

There are many estate planning and financial tools available to minimize estate taxes, but not all of them are going to be right for you.

You should also arrange to meet with your estate planning team if your life situation changes in the form of a marriage, remarriage, death, divorce, separation, or job change. Even if you feel you don't have any major life changes for a particular year, it's still a good idea to get your team together to review any changes or modifications that may have to be made due to changing estate tax laws etc.

Conclusion

In 2010 estate taxes are scheduled to go away altogether and then return to 2001 levels in 2011 and beyond. Once these changes take place, it could have serious ramifications for your estate plan. That's why it's important to have your team assembled and ready to help you and your family adapt your plan to fit your individual needs.

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