Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Recent Changes That Create Need For Married Couples to Update Wills
There have been recent changes to tax laws that create the need for married couples to review their wills, especially provisions intended for tax planning purposes. Here are three major changes that create a need for a reread:
- Estate Tax Exemption. In the past 10 years the exemption amount has risen from $600,000 to a little over $5 million this year, changing considerations for estate planning since what may have been a taxable estate when the will was last reviewed may no longer be.
- Portability. Now that a surviving spouse can inherit the unused portion of their deceased spouse's exemption, will provisions creating a bypass trust may no longer be needed.
- Income Tax. Increased income tax rates create a change in considerations for whether bypass trusts will be beneficial, especially with the addition of the portability option.
See Kirk R. Wilson, Estate Tax Provisions for Married Couples in Recent Wills, Trusts May be Obsolete--Part I, Your Houston News, Nov. 14, 2014.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.