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Estate planning for the new tax law

Most Illinois residents are likely aware of the new tax law Congress passed in December. Some individuals may like it, while others may not. Some may feel it does nothing to help them, while others may see a lot of positive benefits from it. One area where it may help some is with estate planning and estate taxes.

So, what is the big change? Those with estates valuing certain amounts have always had to pay federal estate taxes. That is not something that will change; it will still be required. However, fewer people may find this something they have to do.

According to old laws, federal estate taxes were assessed on estates valuing over $5.6 million. The new law, however, changed that limit to $11.2 million. This is significant for those who have fairly high-value estates to worry about. For married couples, the exemption limit has been increased to $22.4 million -- this is to help ensure portability if it is properly invoked in the estate plan.

What does all this mean? It means that beneficiaries could see more in their pockets. It means that Uncle Sam will receive less in taxes. It means that Illinois residents should consider the estate planning process if they have not yet done so, or revisit it in order to make any necessary changes so that they can benefit from the new tax laws. An experienced estate planning attorney can help in either case and will do everything to ensure one's estate truly offers the protections and benefits desired.

Source: Forbes, "5 Questions To Ask Your Estate Planner After The New Tax Law", David Robinson, Jan. 9, 2018

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