When you have amassed a high net worth, you want to preserve and protect that wealth for future generations. Effective and successful protection of your assets requires a unique and comprehensive estate plan that considers various factors. An experienced high net worth and large estate planning attorney at Kramer, Green, Zuckerman, Green, & Buchsbaum, P.A., can help you devise the estate plan that is best calculated to meet your individual needs, support your objectives, and shield your assets for the benefit of your loved ones.
Contact us today and learn more about what an estate plan might look like for you based on your circumstances. Call us at (954) 884-8373 or contact us online.
Minimizing Estate Taxes
While Florida has no estate tax, your estate is still subject to federal estate taxes. These taxes only impact high net worth and large estates; in 2023, federal estate taxes apply only to estates worth $12.92 million or more. However, estates valued at more than that amount could pay up to 40% in estate taxes, depending on the value of the taxable estate. For a married couple, the estate tax exemption is $25.84 million.
For instance, if you are single and your estate is worth $24.03 million, then $12.92 million is exempt from the federal estate tax. That leaves $11.11 million of your estate subject to the estate tax. Since the taxable estate is over $1 million, the estate is in the highest tax bracket, meaning a 40% tax rate applies. As a result, the base estate tax payment is $345,000, which applies to the first $1 million of the taxable estate. The total amount owed in estate taxes will be 40% of the remaining taxable estate of $10.11 million, or $4.044 million, in addition to the base payment of $345,000.
Importantly, on January 1, 2026, the exemption amount is reduced by 50 percent unless Congress and the President agree to continue it at the current amount. This will only happen if the Republicans win the Presidency and both houses.
Assuming the exemption is cut in half, many professionals and high income businesspeople may be subject to Estate Tax.
Due to the potential for high tax liability, individuals with a high net worth or large estate may wish to take advantage of available estate-planning techniques. Creating certain kinds of trusts and annual gift-giving, among other options, can help individuals avoid or minimize the payment of estate taxes.
Various methods exist to avoid probate proceedings, which, in turn, can guarantee more privacy for you and your family following your death. These estate planning techniques also can help safeguard your assets from the reach of creditors. In some cases, trusts can also help you minimize taxes and support loved ones with special needs. By taking advantage of these mechanisms, you can make it easier for your family to handle your affairs, protect your remaining assets, and fulfill your last wishes.
Trusts allow you to structure the payment of assets to beneficiaries in a certain way, as outlined in the terms of your trust. You can also choose someone you believe to be reliable, honest, and trustworthy to act as a trustee and administer the trust on your behalf as written. Utilizing a trust may allow you to ensure that your chosen beneficiaries use your assets as intended. When you have a significant amount of assets, determining how to allocate them is no small task. A trust allows maximum flexibility in fashioning the estate plan that best meets your objectives.
You also can create charitable trusts to reduce your taxable estate. Assigning some of your assets to these trusts may serve a dual purpose. You can make certain charitable donations in keeping with your wishes, but you also can minimize the payment of estate taxes.
Taking advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion is another common way to reduce your taxable estate. Annual gifting can be helpful when you have a high net worth or large estate. For 2023, the gift tax exclusion is $17,000; this amount is indexed annually for inflation. Furthermore, this exclusion applies to each spouse. As a result, a married couple can gift $34,000 each year to the same person.
Preparing for Incapacity
When you have a high net worth or a large estate, becoming incapacitated can create great uncertainty when handling your affairs. Failing to prepare for potential incapacity could lead to someone handling your financial affairs that you did not want or choose. Whether you become incapacitated due to illness or accident, you should take steps to put a plan in place for that possibility. By executing certain legal documents, such as a durable power of attorney, you can choose who will control your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.
Call Kramer Green for High Net Worth Estate Planning Assistance
As the owner of a high net worth or large estate, you must have an estate plan to protect the wealth you have accumulated over the years. A Hollywood estate planning lawyer at Kramer Green has the knowledge and experience you need to create and refine a comprehensive estate plan tailored to meet your needs, minimize estate taxes, and safeguard your wealth. Together, we can ensure you meet your objectives through estate planning.
Contact a high net worth and large estate planning attorney today by calling (954) 884-8373 or finding us online. Let us help you prepare for the future by developing and maintaining the right estate plan.