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As we all learn to cope with the unprecedented changes to our daily lives imposed by the COVID-19 crisis, we want to assure you that the Sheppard Mullin estate planning team is thinking of you and stands ready to assist you in any way possible.

These uncertain times have caused many of us to think about steps we might take to confirm that our affairs are in order and that we have prudently provided for our family members and other loved ones.  To assist with that review, we provide the following tips:
Continue Reading Estate Planning In Turbulent Times

The new tax bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President today has increased the amount individuals can transfer free of Gift, Estate and Generation Skipping Transfer (“GST”) taxes.  The law now provides:

  • Beginning in 2018, the Estate/Gift/GST tax exemptions are increased from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000, indexed for inflation (approximately $11,200,000 in 2018).
  • The increased exemptions will expire on December 31, 2025 (i.e., the increased exemptions revert to the current $5 million exemption beginning on January 1, 2026, still indexed for inflation) unless Congress acts to extend them.  The US Department of Treasury and the IRS will prepare regulations to confirm that gifts made during this period up to the increased exemption amounts will not later be subject to tax if the exemptions are reduced.
  • The 40% tax rate for Estate/Gift/GST tax remains the same.
  • The annual Gift tax exclusion will still increase to $15,000 in 2018.
  • The basis adjustment rules, which provide that the basis of any asset passing from a decedent at death will be adjusted to the fair market value of that asset as of the decedent’s date of death (i.e., a step up in basis), remain the same.


Continue Reading Tax Reform 101 – Estate Planning For High Net Worth Individuals