With the New Year will come new resolutions. As Colorado residents resolve to lose weight, get more sleep or change jobs, estate planning might slip their mind. However, with the New Year and election upon people, it is important to think about certain estate planning points.
If not thought through carefully, 2020 could turn into another 2012. Back then, in anticipation that the estate tax exemption could fall from $5 million to $1 million, estate planning reached a frenzy as people tried to get their papers in order before the end of the year. There might not be enough time after the election results or enough professional help available to get one’s estate plan in order.
Having said that though, its also important not to make hasty decisions. In 2012, people hurried to give large gifts in order to utilize exemptions to trusts they couldn’t access. However, there can be a number of ways to keep gifts to an irrevocable trust accessible, as long as some thought is given to the matter. For example, a spousal lifetime access trust could allow each spouse to be a beneficiary of the other’s trust.
Changes such as the secure act should also be discussed. Signed into effect right before Christmas, the act ends the stretch IRA. This means that most beneficiaries have to get IRA and other proceeds within ten years of the plan holder’s death. This might mean a change in one’s designated beneficiaries and trust plans.
There are also other steps to take, such as reviewing tax reimbursement clauses and evaluating life insurance trusts. Resolving to and then actually reviewing one’s estate plan is a great way to start the year aware of where one’s assets are and how they can derive the most benefit.