Estate Planning Under New Tax Law

With the new tax law, and the Federal Estate Tax exemption at more than $11 Million per person, the question arises: Is Estate Planning Now Dead?

The answer is without question: No, estate planning is certainly not dead!  Planning is as important as ever.  The change in tax law merely provides an opportunity to focus on other priorities, including providing for care and protection of minor children, determining the right decision makers, and achieving charitable and family goals.  The list of planning considerations is as diverse and as unique as each individual, and the for those who no longer planning around the Federal Estate Tax, this is a great opportunity to make sure other planning objectives are achieved.

Inheritance Tax in Indiana

Good news for Hoosiers doing their estate tax planning: Indiana does not have an inheritance tax.  Indiana previously had an inheritance tax, but it was repealed in 2013.  Thus, there is no Indiana Inheritance tax for those who die after December 31, 2012.

Indiana is in good company.  The majority of U.S. states do not have Inheritance Tax.  However, Federal Estate Tax and other taxes remain and are important considerations in planning your Indiana estate.

Happy New Year!

With 2016 only a few hours away, here’s a look at changes to the Federal estate and gift tax exemptions for 2016.

  • The Federal Estate Tax Exemption amount will be $5.45 million per individual, an inflation-adjusted increase from $5.43 million in 2015.
  • The annual gift tax exclusion amount remains at $14,000, the same as in 2015.

The increase in the Federal Estate Tax Exemption means an individual can leave $5.45 million to her beneficiaries without Federal Estate Tax, or gift tax during her lifetime. In 2016, a married couple will be able to collectively transfer $10.9 million without Federal Estate Tax, or gift taxes during their lifetimes.

Happy New Year!

Working with Fantastic People

I work with great people!  Harrison & Moberly is comprised of a team of talented, smart, and caring individuals.  Most of our staff have been with us for decades.  It’s an incredible place to work.

I was reminded of this fact this morning, when I found a pile of thick, extra-long scarfs knitted by our long-time legal assistant, Janice Collins.  Janice – a knock out litigation assistant — told me she just has to keep busy in the evenings, and so knits away.  She recruited H&M tax and estates lawyer, Fred Scott, to pass out these scarfs to homeless people on his daily walks to Court.

They did not want me to write about this.  Their motivation to help others, in some small way, stay warmer in the cold weather months, was certainly not motivated by a desire for attention or recognition.  But I couldn’t help but share this story.  It’s another reminder that people are what make a work place and a law firm great.  I am thankful to call Harrison & Moberly and its people my law firm family.