Final Boarding Call: Estate Planning in 2012

The WSJ has this helpful article reminding folks to get their estate plans in order, especially for families with $1 to 5 million+ in assets. As we ring in the new year in a few short months, if Congress hasn’t done anything on the tax front, you’ll see several changes hitting your pocketbook. The Bush tax cuts will expire – so you’ll owe tax if you (1) die with more than a $1 million estate, if you (2) give more than $1 million to family or friends, or (3) if you do more than $1 million generation skipping transfers (e.g. grandparents to grandchildren). Portability is also set to expire, so you won’t be able to use your predeceased spouse’s estate tax exemption. The Obama payroll tax cut will also expire – so you’ll have less take home pay from each paycheck. Like the historically low interest rates now in play, we may not see estate and gift tax laws that allow you to pass on your hard-earned wealth and leave a legacy for your family again in our lifetimes.

Echoing the anecdotes offered in the WSJ article, our firm has been very busy lately, and our appointment calendars are filling up with work, as are the other professionals we work with to best serve clients with a holistic approach. If you need to do any estate planning, business, or real estate work before 2013, it’s time to act. If you have a small business, real estate interests, or other potentially hard-to-value assets, you may need to have an appraisal done before structuring your business succession plan, or setting up a family limited partnership (FLP) or family LLC. Appraisers’ schedules are filling up, so if you’re thinking of passing on your business or real estate holdings, it’s time to bite the bullet and get it done. Your family will thank you and you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays with the peace of mind that everything’s taken care of according to your desires.

We offer a free 1/2 hour consultation, convenient and affordable flat fee billing, and we’re a simple phone call or email away at (913) 7o7-9220 or steve@johnsonlawkc.com. At Johnson Law KC LLC, we look forward to serving your legal needs.

(c) 2012, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

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