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Estate planning for tax protection and savings

With the annual welcome of the new year, many Georgia residents take up resolutions. These often include getting fit, eating better, writing a novel or taking care of important preparatory details. Estate planning is one important thing that many Americans delay repeatedly. Unfortunately, this can complicate the process later on. That's why putting an estate plan in place is a great 2020 New Year's resolution.

During a presidential election year, it may be worth considering that changes to the estate tax could be in the making if a new administration comes in. People might want to consider how to use their existing estate tax exemption before potential changes to the law go into effect. Therefore, it's wise to complete key estate planning documents before the election. Because others will share these concerns, attorney offices may get crowded as the election approaches. Planning earlier can help to avoid additional delays.

Trusts are a useful tool for estate planning because they provide greater amounts of privacy, flexibility and protection than a typical will. Many opt for an irrevocable trust in order to preserve certain beneficial tax exemptions. However, at the same time, people may want to be careful about the irrevocable decisions they make. After all, these can place their assets outside of their control. An estate planning attorney might advise the creation of vehicles like a spousal lifetime access trust (SLAT), which is intended to benefit a husband or wife.

There are other kinds of trusts that can also provide greater access and flexibility while preserving tax benefits. Those thinking about how to preserve their wealth and plan for the future could work with an attorney to develop key estate documents.

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