The Goldilocks Method To Acting On Estate Tax Law Changes | Estate Planning TV 022
The Goldilocks Method To Acting On Estate Tax Law Changes
Earlier this week the House of Representatives unveiled proposed tax law changes that could have an effect on the federal estate tax if passed.
It sounds as if they want to greatly increase the exemption amount (i.e. you get to keep more of your money before the tax kicks in) and eventually do away with the tax the whole way (otherwise known as “repeal”).
Once that announcement was made people started to just go whole hog crazy over it.
They were calling and emailing wanting to know if changes needed to be made, if plans needed to be put on hold, and generally what should be done about these new tax changes.
I immediately told them about the Goldilocks Method to proposed changes to the law that I created to give them a good barometer of when they should start thinking about making changes.
You remember the story of Goldilocks, right?
She snuck into the bear family’s cabin and tried out the beds, the chairs, and the porridge, each time finding an option that was “just right”?
The same goes for estate tax planning with new proposed rule changes.
There’s the too hot (i.e. too early) timing to estate tax changes.
That time is right now.
All we’ve got so far are some ideas from a Congress that hasn’t shown they know how to tie their shoes much less get comprehensive legislation passed.
To make changes now before anything is done is simply too soon.
Then there’s the too cold (i.e. too late) timing to estate tax changes.
If by some miracle Congress is able to pass estate tax changes then the time that it is too late to start thinking about what to do is AFTER the law goes into effect.
At that time, if you die, your estate will be subject to the new rules, whether you’ve planned and strategized for them or not.
Last, but not least, we’ve got the “just right” estate planning timing.
This timing is the window between when the law is passed and and when it actually goes into effect (usually at least 6 months).
In this scenario you know a new law has been passed, you know EXACTLY what the law is (no more guessing), and you’ve had time to formulate strategies to maximize the benefit of the new law for your family (or protect against any downside).
If you are reading this and the tax reforms are still in the idea phase, don’t start sweating just yet.
Let nature take it’s course and then come back around once an actual law has been passed.
At that time you won’t even have to do any work yourself. I’ll already have some ideas for you to chew on.