Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2021

Nov 30, 2021   Print PDF

Here is a brief glance at what you will find in the 2021 Year End issue... 

Take full advantage of your annual gift tax exclusion

One of the most effective estate-tax-saving techniques is also one of the simplest and most convenient: making maximum use of the annual gift tax exclusion. Individuals can annually make up to $15,000 in gifts per person gift tax free ($16,000 in 2022). This article explains how an individual can maximize the amount of assets he or she can annually pass to loved ones using the annual gift tax exclusion. A sidebar details when a gift tax return must be filed.

You can relax if your estate plan includes a SPA trust

During times of economic and tax law uncertainty, the more flexible a person’s estate plan, the better. As some parts of the country are rebounding economically from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, other areas continue to struggle. In addition, there’s the possibility of major tax law changes on the horizon that could greatly affect one’s estate plan. Because of this uncertainty, consider all the strategies that can build flexibility into an estate plan. This article examines how a special power of appointment (SPA) trust can be beneficial to an estate plan.

Have you named successor fiduciaries?

It’s generally not enough to appoint an executor to handle a person’s estate after his or her death or name a trustee to administer a trust. Choosing qualified people to fulfill these duties requires forethought and in-depth analysis, but it’s only half the battle. For greater protection, consider choosing “successor fiduciaries” who can step in at a moment’s notice and take over, if needed. This article details the duties of a successor fiduciary.

Estate Planning Pitfall: You don’t have a residuary clause in your will

A residuary clause is a provision in a will that passes the residue of an estate to designated beneficiaries. Consider it a safety net that catches all of a person’s possessions that aren’t covered by specific gifts. This brief article explains what happens if a will doesn’t have a residuary clause.

What to avoid when making year end gifts

Whether motivated by holiday cheer or tax planning, the end of the year is a time when many people consider making significant gifts. With that in mind, here are a few common mistakes to avoid when making gifts this holiday season.

Click here to read the full Stokes Lawrence Insight in Estate Planning Year End 2021 newsletter.

To discuss issues specific to your circumstances, contact one of our Estate Planning attorneys.