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Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents since 1978.
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What's the best way to approach tax planning in 2013?

NAELA National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. MEMBER

Readers in New Jersey would be hard pressed to find someone who describes the federal tax code as "simple." Even though state and federal tax laws are incredibly dense, there are still ways to approach this year's tax season with careful thought in order to best serve your needs and the needs of your estate.

At the turn of the new year, headlines were focused on the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. After an agreement was finally reached, some of the finer points of the tax law changes were lost in the hubbub. Namely, there were important implications for those looking to approach their estate planning strategically.

One of area of estate and tax planning affected by the fiscal cliff deal is the estate tax. Over the last several years, the rate and level for exemptions has changed dramatically. This has made it very difficult for individuals and families to develop a consistent tax strategy, particularly if they have significant assets. Now, however, the estate tax exclusion has been set at $5 million and will be indexed to inflation in the future. This means that the first $5 million bequeathed in an estate plan will not be taxable.

Although this aspect of the tax code appears to be stable for the time being, there have been mutterings of a more extensive tax code overhaul, which could have serious implications for tax strategies. Knowing that tax changed -- major or minor -- could be on the horizon is a solid reason to make sure you receive the best advice possible and pursue strategies that will protect your interests and assets.

Source: Kiplinger, "2013 Tax Planning Gets Easier," Sandra Block, April 2013

  • To learn more about tax planning, please visit our New Jersey trust planning page.

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