Friday, April 23rd, 2021

End of Year Planning

December 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Estate Planning

The end of the year is nigh! December 31 is a cutoff date for several tax benefits that you might be eligible to enjoy. Come hear what they are. If you are planning your end of year taxes, it’s a good time to implement some other ideas as well! Learn how to prepare your Will, especially if you’ve been putting it off.

For details on the AACI lecture in Beer Sheva:


For those of you who cannot make it to Beer Sheva, here’s a taste: 

How Should I Plan for 2017? U.S. Taxes, Wills and In-Between

We have a few weeks left of 2016. Let’s use them wisely to reduce our tax exposure and to create a plan for some of the tasks we so willingly put off whenever possible.

Is Tax Reform Likely?

The IRS thinks so. “We have the big unknown coming in January,” said Adrienne M. Mikolashek, an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). “We have no idea moving forward what’s going to change,” she said Nov. 14 at the American Institute of CPAs National Tax Conference.

The new administration in the U.S. promised tax reform repeatedly, and continues to do so as 2017 approaches. Passing the House should not be a challenge given the Republican majority. The Senate is the wild card. The Republican party is proceeding carefully with this reform. The legislation will either have to be bipartisan or set to expire within ten years, if the budget reconciliation process is used. Therefore, though there will be reform, we cannot know the details yet.

If the tax reform does in fact pass into law in 2017, we anticipate that it will be sooner rather than later, and that it will apply to the entire 2017 year. There is precedent for this.

I have chosen not to discuss the various options raised for reform, because they are all speculation until actually passed.

How Do We Plan?

If you have a current estate plan or estate tax plan in place, this is not the time to make changes based on tax considerations. Of course, if you need to make changes for any other reasons, do so. Don’t put off making changes in your plans.

If you do not yet have a plan, now is the time to formulate one and to implement it. Estate plans are important to have in place for reasons other than tax considerations, such as (among many others):

  • To provide for your family if something should happen to you;
  • To make transition as smooth and painless as possible, in the event something happens to you; or
  • To ensure that what you have worked hard to have happen with your family’s wealth, is actually implemented, whether you are here to do it yourself, or not.

Given the inherent volatility of tax laws, your choice will be whether to plan for the possibility that there will in fact be a U.S. estate tax again at some point during your lifetime, or to plan solely for the current laws in effect as of 2017.

Of course, thorough and knowledgeable professional advice is essential to make these important decisions.


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