With all of the discussion surrounding repealing the estate tax and other significant tax reforms, it can be difficult to understand exactly how these proposed changes might affect your estate. For most people in the United States, the estate tax is not a concern. That is because you need an individual estate worth $5.49 million or more before the tax will even apply. However, there are still a number of other concerns to keep in mind in order to make the most informed decisions about your estate plan because there are a number of other factors that could impact the overall value of your estate. A recent article from Financial-Planning.com helps put some of these risks into perspective.
One of the biggest risks to assets in an estate is dying without an estate plan in place to protect them. While your estate may not be subject to the federal estate tax, it could be subject to significant state-level taxes and those penalties can take a large chunk of your assets if you do not have an estate plan in place. Intestate succession will also determine the percentage of your assets that will be distributed to the heirs covered by your state’s intestate succession statute. This may not be in line with how you want your assets to be distributed, so making sure that you have a valid and up-to-date estate plan is the first step in avoiding any hidden financial risks that could impact your assets.