Tax consequences are something that all New York residents need to consider when planning their estates. Indeed, if you do nothing to limit your estate tax liabilities, the inheritance you plan to leave to your heirs could be much smaller than you think it is.
Federal laws now allow us to leave money and assets to heirs in the amount of approximately $5 million tax free. However, at the state level, taxes may come into play. In New York, for example, estates in excess of $1 million could still be subjected to estate taxes.
You might be looking at your bank account and thinking, “Surely my estate is not worth $1 million.” But the fact is, once you add up all your assets, including furniture, art, automobiles, real estate, retirement accounts, investment accounts and more, your estate might hold a value far higher than you realize. For this reason, it is always wise to do a thorough estimate of your net worth before you decide whether or not you estate tax planning is necessary in your case.
Now, if your estate is in danger of being hit with estate taxes, you probably want to do whatever you can to prevent that from happening. Fortunately, there are a variety of legal strategies that can protect your estate from Uncle Sam. These might include gifting a portion of your assets before you pass away, using a trust, and other estate planning tools.
At Weinstein & Randisi, our New York attorneys have over a half decade of experience helping people create rock-solid estate plans for the future well-being of the people they leave behind. We can help you reduce tax liabilities, pass on your legacy and ensure that your wishes are honored after you have gone.