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We have clients come in to review their estate plan on weekly basis. One of the primary concerns from those clients is losing their hard-earned money to the dreaded Death Tax. What is the death tax? The death tax, also known as an estate tax or inheritance tax, is technically a tax on the right to transfer your money to someone else upon your death. Texas residents are lucky in that Texas permanently repealed the death tax in 2015. This means Texas residents do not have to pay a tax on transferring their property to someone else to the state of Texas.

But wait! There’s a catch. The Internal Revenue Service does not feel the same way. Any estate with an estimated value of more than $11.18 million dollars must pay forty percent of the estate to the United States Treasury. That $11.18 million is a per person amount calculated on everything you own or have a certain interest in at the time of that person’s death. Many states require an estate tax in addition to the federal tax, but not Texas.

Most Texans don’t have to worry about the death tax. Only an estimated 4.89 percent of Texas households have a net worth of one million dollars or more, and that number decreases significantly when you calculate households with a net worth of more than ten million dollars.

If you are one of the lucky few with more than $11.18 million dollars, are you married? If you answered yes, then the estate tax doesn’t really become a problem until you exceed $11.18 million for each one of you, or $22.36 million.

Please keep in mind this number is subject to change and change it does. In 2017, the threshold amount was $5.49 million. The last-minute tax package raised the death tax amount to $11.18 million, assisting fewer than three percent of American households.

What if you do have more than $22.36 million with your significant other? Excellent work and/or winnings my friend. Might a suggest a new limited partnership? Or something similar? There are ways to reduce the tax burden with enough planning. We would need a thorough review of your financial situation, life concerns, and estate concerns to fully evaluate and advise on your options.

The rest of us who don’t have $22.36 million stashed away in a bank, business, or mattress still need an estate plan. People collect things during the course of their lives and those things are treasured and fought over after death by the loved ones still around. We can assist you in creating an estate plan that truly matches your financial and family needs.

 

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