Did you know that:
- The estate tax is separate from the income tax, and is paid on the net value of all your assets, including life insurance, and retirement accounts owned at your death in excess of the exempt amount?
- The federal estate tax rate is currently 40% (in 2017)?
- The Massachusetts estate tax rate is approximately 10%
- The federal estate tax exemption is $5 million in 2017 ($5,490,000 when adjusted for inflation)
- The Massachusetts estate tax exemption is $1 million
- For most families, estate taxes are totally voluntary? Only people who fail to plan will end up paying estate taxes.
At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., we have extensive experience in estate tax avoidance techniques. Atty. Michelle Beneski has a Masters of Law in Taxation, and over the years has been a key player in some of the most cutting-edge strategies.
For our clients with significant life insurance, we can help them save 40 cents on every dollar with an irrevocable life insurance trust (“ILIT”). An ILIT is designed to be the owner and beneficiary of your life insurance policies. Assuming the trust is properly structured and administered, the life insurance is not part of your estate at your death because you don’t own it. Instead, 100% of the insurance proceeds are available to do what you intended – to provide for your loved ones.
If you have a very large estate, it is worth considering other estate tax avoidance strategies. Many of these techniques involve giving assets to your loved ones during your life at a reduced value for tax purposes, removing the assets and their future appreciation from your estate.
Please call us (508-994-5200) to schedule an initial consultation.
[Last Updated: January 2017]