Estate Tax Planning

An estate tax is a tax imposed on property transferred by Will or intestate succession after the death of the property owner. (Visit for more information.) Under the Federal Estate Tax, the “taxable estate” portion of your gross probate estate is subject to tax. The gross probate estate is the total value of the all the property in which you hold an interest at the time of your death. Death and taxes may be unavoidable, but there are ways to make them less burdensome to your loved ones. Thoughtful estate planning in the form of a tax-advantaged Trust can help alleviate those burdens. Credit Shelter Trusts are effective estate tax planning tools. A credit shelter trust is designed to make optimal use of the marital deduction provided by federal estate tax laws, which allow property passing from a decedent to a surviving spouse to be transferred tax-free. Under a credit-shelter trust, your surviving heirs would not receive your property outright (which would then be subject to an estate tax). Instead, your heirs would receive an interest in the Trust itself. By leaving property to each other in a credit shelter trust, couples avoid having the same property taxed twice. Credit shelter trusts are a common component of the estate plan packages that we create for our clients.  Contact us today to learn how this and other techniques can work for you.

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