Estate tax planning involves structuring the estate plan to maximize the tax benefits allowed by law. There are various special trusts and entities under the tax laws that help accomplish the transition of substantial wealth and often work in conjunction with life insurance. This may involve a single – or several – techniques integrated together. No one technique will apply to all situations, therefore planning and analysis must take into account asset values, family dynamics and class of assets involved (e.g., is there a family business?).
By planning ahead, you are able to control how your property and business is passed to your heirs. An estate plan can make it easier to protect your estate from heavy taxation, freeing up assets for immediate financial needs and avoiding probate.
The degree of your estate planning depends on your age, financial situation, your life expectancy and other non-financial reasons. Anyone with children or significant assets should begin developing an estate plan right away. It’s not a question of if you need estate planning –it’s how much planning your estate needs.
We work with attorneys to ensure:
- Development, refinement of your Will
- Power of Attorney for finances
- Power of Attorney for health care
- Living Will
- Guardianship designation
- Completed beneficiary designation
- Elder law
- Nursing home and Medicaid planning
Davis & Hodgdon Associates completes many trust tax returns every year. Each one is as unique as the person who created it. We thoroughly review each trust document to determine how the trust will be treated from a tax standpoint. Most trusts continue for many years as a living legacy of the creator. Other trusts distribute their assets quickly and are closed down. Your trust document helps us understand how best to help complete your tax return. In most instances the trust’s income is distributed to the beneficiaries. This creates a tax liability for the people who receive this income, which must be reported on that person’s personal tax return. When we prepare your trust return we must be certain of the tax implications of all of the accounting income of the trust and how it is distributed.