Livens & Reed, PLLC

How will the new tax laws affect estate planning?

April 15 is likely not a favorite day of the year for most Texas residents and others across the nation. Many taxpayers delay filing their federal income tax returns until the very last possible minute. This year in particular, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has presented numerous changes to which those filing must adhere. The new regulations have implications for individuals as well as corporations and estates. Experts have weighed in on how the new tax law has affected the estate planning process.

In the past, many estate plans included documents that were full of detailed calculations regarding asset distribution. These details were listed to take advantage of every pertinent tax benefit. However, under the new law, these types of calculations are no longer applicable. Therefore, it is important for those developing an estate plan to consider tax implications throughout every step of the process.

A person needs to first determine what assets will be distributed one day and then decide who should receive them. Other issues that may need to be addressed in an estate plan could include guardianship of minor children and/or providing for a spouse in the future. In fact, estate plans will be unique to each individual and should be reviewed and updated periodically, especially after any major life events.

Since, according to an old adage, there is nothing certain in life except death and taxes, considering the long-term effect of taxes on one's estate is important. Involving a Texas attorney familiar with estate administration is vital during the estate planning process. Working with an experienced lawyer can offer the peace of knowing that one's future wishes will be carried out as desired.

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