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Estate Planning Opportunities; Use Them or Lose Them!

Posted on Mon Sep 17, 2012, on Estate Planning

Last Updated Nov. 5th, 2017: Estate Planning Opportunities.

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: What Estate Planning Opportunities Exist Today I Should Consider?

Estate Planning Opportunities; Use Them or Lose Them!

Every year that passes without your acting represents a year of Estate Planning, or Asset Protection lost.  Only a few more months remain this year, take action! There is still time, but if you are going to act you need to start working with your estate planning lawyer soon.


Gift and Estate Tax exemptions change each year slightly.  Plus, the current administration has promised significant changes, but no details yet exist.  Using the current rules, never have the Gift Tax and Estate Tax exemptions been higher than they are currently. 

Maximize Your Federal Gift Tax Exemption.

Consider maximizing your potential Gift Tax Exemption. If you have never made a gift subject to the Federal Gift Tax exemption, you can transfer up to $5,000,000 (adjusted up each year for inflation) as a gift to individuals or into trust without paying gift tax. A timely use of your Gift Tax Exemption will lock in the current exemption rate and preserve the tax-free gift. Together, a couple can double the contribution. If you made taxable gifts in the past, the difference between your past gift and this years’ exemption amount is still available.

Advanced Planning: Consider forming a SLAT or an Education Trust.

Pennsylvania Residents; Make Gifts to Avoid the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.

Take into consideration that gifts might also avoid the state Inheritance Taxes. Pennsylvania has no gift tax, and gifts made more than one year before the date of death avoid the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax rates are 4.5% for descendants, 12% for siblings and 15% for more distant relatives or unrelated persons. 

Advanced Planning: Consider forming and funding a Dynasty Trust for your children and grandchildren.

Tax Savings Shouldn’t Come at a Cost to Your Security.

Don’t let the Tax Tail wag your dog. Reducing or avoiding taxes is a noble goal, but these savings should not come at the expense of your financial well-being. Working closely with an experienced estate planning attorney will allow you to review many techniques that will enable you to lock in the potential tax savings described above, but still retaining security for yourself.

Estate Planning Opportunities; Use Them or Lose Them!

In conclusion, in this Post, I tried to touch on a few useful Estate Planning Opportunities.  So, let me know how I did. Comments and questions are welcome!

Throughout our website,, you may find more information about Estate Planning and Asset Protection. Our firm focuses exclusively in the area of estate planning, probate, and the litigation surrounding estate planning and probate including Will Contests and Will Challenges. If you have estate planning questions, please call one of our Experienced Estate Planning Lawyers for a free consultation.

Estate Planning is all our Will drafting lawyers do!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation It’s All We Do!

Author, Peter Klenk, Esq.



Dynasty Trust, Education Trust, Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, Federal Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax rates, Peter Klenk, SLAT, Tax exemptions

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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