What Are The New Opportunities For Estate Planning Under The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act?


The most sweeping tax reform in 30 years was just passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by President Trump. What does the new law mean for estate planning?


New Opportunities Of Course!


The doubling of the estate, gift, and GST tax exemptions to $10 million per person ($20 million per couple) opens a significant, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to protect more assets than ever. Combined with the IRS’s withdrawal of the anti-discounting section 2704 regulations earlier in 2017, tax reform opens the door for dynasty trusts, family partnerships, discounted gifts, and other strategies that could shield entire fortunes for your beneficiaries.


Although the estate tax and GST tax exemption doubles on January 1, 2018, to $10 million per person, this increased exemption expires on December 31, 2025. You may be tempted to wait, given that seven years may feel like forever. However, remember that this tax legislation is likely to be heavily modified if the political pendulum swings in the other direction. (The clock is already ticking steadily towards the 2018 midterms and 2020 Presidential election). Of course, our law firm has tools that can build flexibility into your plan, including trust protectors, decanting powers, and other strategies to deal with future changes. But those future strategies only work to preserve options if we implement plans while the exemption is available.


If you have any concerns or questions about how the estate tax will impact your family, please feel free to contact us so we can maximize the opportunities afforded by the new bill.