The election is over.  It remains to be seen how Congress will handle the “fiscal cliff.”  There are several key estate planning and gifting provisions that are set to expire or reduce to prior rates.  For example, the current estate tax exclusion is over $5 million, but is scheduled to return to $1 million at the end of this year.  The “Bush tax cuts” are also set to expire.

While many are hoping for a resolution of these issues, among others, prior to the end of the year, it is possible these issues will stretch into the new year.  In the meantime, both the estate tax exemption and gift tax exemption will be reduced if there is no action by Congress.

If you have been waiting and biding your time to see if Congress will take action on the estate tax exemption and gifting exemption, you may wish to consider the current opportunity for some gift planning strategies prior to the end of the year.  However, it is important to be skeptical when considering any advice that involves gifting your assets.  Certainly, you must look to your own financial security and future prior to considering whether your assets are substantial enough such that you may be willing to part with some of them to decrease the amount of tax liability for your estate.

Contact Ann Stuursma or Tara Velting regarding your estate planning needs.

Attorneys Ann Stuursma & Tara Velting

300 Ottawa Ave., N.W., Suite 800

Grand Rapids, MI 49503