4: Minimizing Your Tax Liabilities
In This Section1: You Need a Good Estate Plan 2: What is a Good Estate Plan? 3: One Size Does Not Fit All 4: Minimizing Your Tax Liabilities 5: The Basic Planning Tools 6: Who Can Help You 7: What Are You Waiting For? Sample Bequest Language Download a Sample Codicil FormOpens new window
Transfer taxes on non-charitable gifts during your lifetime and through your estate can be significant. Virtually everything you own or control may be subject to federal estate, gift and generation–skipping taxes, as well as state inheritance taxes can all substantially reduce what you pass to your heirs.
Not everyone is subject to federal estate tax; if the value of your taxable estate is less than $5.25 million at the time of your death, it will not be taxed by the federal government. But for estates valued over that amount, creative estate planning can avoid or minimize tax liabilities. Keep in mind that many states still have an estate or inheritance tax that will start to tax your estate at a much lower value, frequently if your estate is worth less than $1 million.
Things You May Want to Consider
Next: The Basic Planning Tools