The New Jersey Estate Tax is currently scheduled to be fully repealed on January 1, 2018. However, some sources have postulated that, due to budgetary and fiscal concerns, the New Jersey Estate Tax may not end up being repealed in 2018 as originally planned. Additionally, the extent to which the Federal Gift/Estate Taxes may be impacted by the pending GOP tax bills is also subject to speculation at this point. Unfortunately, my crystal ball is not working well, so I simply do not know what will happen.
However, despite all this uncertainty on the tax front, people should not forget that Estate Planning involves a lot more than tax planning. “Estate planning” is about making sure that the assets people accumulate during their lives are properly and efficiently distributed to their beneficiaries in accordance with their desires. Comprehensive estate planning consists not only of tax planning, but also of planning for the many non-tax related and personal issues that may arise in any situation (regardless of a person’s wealth). Among other things, tax issues certainly do not impact family dynamics, and tax laws simply do not change most people’s goals of creating an estate plan that is appropriate for their beneficiaries, does not create division in the family, and does not lead to lawsuits among the beneficiaries or between beneficiaries and an Estate’s representatives.
When all is said and done, creating and implementing an estate plan that addresses non-tax issues can be more challenging than dealing with tax laws. A well thought out estate plan will be beneficial no matter which way the tax winds blow.
An experienced estate planning attorney can assist you with developing a customized estate plan that is specifically designed for your unique circumstances.