Many of our clients are surprised to learn that estate planning isn’t a one-and-done task. Instead, it’s an ongoing process that requires frequent updates and adjustments. And one of the most critical times to focus on estate planning is near the end of each year.
Here are three estate planning factors to consider before year-end in Upper Marlboro, MD.
1. Family Financial Gifts
The holidays are a popular time to give financial gifts to loved ones. If you’re planning any financial gifts this holiday season, consider how they will impact your annual gift tax exclusion amount.
You can give up to a certain amount to loved ones each year without facing any gift tax consequences. While giving financial gifts can spread holiday cheer, it can also reduce your countable assets, improving your eligibility for specific government benefits.
The annual gift tax exclusion does not carry over from year to year. As a result, it may be beneficial to give larger financial gifts than you were intending to take advantage of this tax exemption.
One of the other estate planning factors to consider before year-end is the lifetime federal estate tax exemption.
2. Gifting to Charity
The end of the year is a popular time to give charitable gifts. Before you make a charitable donation, be sure to consider how it fits into your estate plan.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind for charitable giving:
- You may be able to gift up to a certain amount per year from your retirement account as a charitable distribution.
- You can deduct charitable gifts from your income tax as long as they equal no more than a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income.
- You can consider donating appreciated property to avoid capital gains taxes.
- You can consider naming a charity as a beneficiary on your retirement account to automatically transfer a gift after you die.
Your estate planning attorney can help you determine the most strategic way to approach charitable giving.
3. Family Discussions
If your family is like many, the holidays may be some of the only times each year that you all come together in person. While holiday gatherings should be full of laughter, love, and fun times, they may also present a valuable opportunity to have estate planning discussions with your family members.
If you’ve made any changes to your estate plan this year, including your will, trusts, and other legal documents, we recommend sitting down with your immediate family to review them. You may also want to review where you keep all of your estate planning documents, the contact information for your attorney, and other pertinent information — just in case.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Upper Marlboro, MD
If you’re looking for a qualified estate planning attorney to walk you through all the estate planning factors to consider before year-end, the Law Office of Ralph Powers Jr., PC can help. Contact us today at 301-627-1000 to learn more.