Broker Check


The Estate Tax Storm

| February 06, 2017

Does the Trump Presidency have you giddy about your family legacy being passed without an estate tax? If it does, you may need to consider a plan to ensure your death occurs in the next four years… though even that may not be adequate if your estate is over $10 million.

Are you aware that it would actually take an amendment to the constitution to permanently change the estate tax? This means that two thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate or a constitutional convention made up by two thirds of the states must propose the amendment. Then at least 38 out of the 50 states must approve the amendment. I could be wrong, but that seems highly unlikely in the next four years – even at President Trump’s highly accelerated pace.

Let’s try another perspective: What is your life expectancy? Now, take that number and divide it by four. This is the number of potential presidents we could have during your lifetime. What do you think the odds are that all of these presidents will be Republicans or just favor a 0 estate tax plan? If I was a betting man, I would put my odds on the "NO WAY!"

Hillary Clinton wanted to see the estate tax exemption amount at $3.5 million or $7 million for a couple. Which is more than $3 million lower than it is today. And which was a compromise - believe it or not - among a Republican House and Senate and a Democratic president. Furthermore, had the presidential election had a different outcome, we were about to see some of our greatest at estate planning tools vanish entirely. Remember Schwarzenegger's famous line..."I'll be back!" Estate tax will be better count on it. And plan on it.

So what does all of this mean? It appears we are in the eye of the storm, and you found the storm cellar just in time. There are tools still available to you which, if implemented, could possibly allow you to weather out the upcoming estate tax storms. It may be now or never to take action and set up a lasting low or even no tax legacy.