Knowledgeable Guidance Regarding Estate Taxation

In 2012, the U.S. Congress and President Obama reached an agreement regarding issues of taxation and federal spending. The 2012 Tax Act — the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 — changed a number of laws regarding estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes.

Will Changing Estate Tax Rules And Laws Affect Your Estate Plan?

At Avera Law Firm, P.L.L.C., in Austin, Texas, we focus on matters of estate planning and tax planning, assisting clients throughout Central Texas. It is our job to stay up to date on law changes and pass along that knowledge for the benefit of our clients. Important aspects of tax laws include:

  • Estate tax exemption: The estate tax exemption increased to $5 million per person, an amount that increases each year based on indexing for inflation. Estates that exceed the exemption amount are taxable at 40 percent.
  • Gift tax and GST tax exemption: This lifetime exemption increased and will continue to increase incrementally based on inflation indexing.
  • Portability: When a spouse dies, leaving property to the surviving spouse, the survivor can use the estate tax, gift tax and GST tax exemption amounts his or her deceased spouse did not use. Despite the portability of the exemptions, a bypass trust may offer many advantages in certain circumstances, such as a remarriage or a situation requiring creditor or divorce protection.
  • Annual exclusion: The annual gift and GST tax exclusion continues to rise periodically in $1,000 increments and is indexed for inflation. As the amount typically changes each year, verify the current yearly amount by contacting our office.

If you do not have an estate plan or have not recently reviewed your plan with an attorney, do not wait until it is too late to make certain it will accomplish what you think it will. Your family and your assets are too valuable to leave to the whim of the taxing authorities.

Experienced Legal Assistance ~ Free Initial Consultation

In light of the changes brought about by the 2012 Tax Act, contact Avera Law Firm, P.L.L.C., to establish or review your estate plan with our lawyer, and let us help you determine if changes are necessary to preserve your assets. To schedule a free initial consultation, send us an email or call us at 512-615-3578. For your convenience, we have two office locations in Austin and Dripping Springs.