This type of planning incorporates minimizing tax liabilities and maximizing values for the future generations. Most of our clients want to maintain control of their assets but shift tax liability and growth to future generations. Below is tax saving techniques.
Strategy #1-Wills, Trusts, Asset-Shifting
Make proper use of Wills and Living Trusts and consider re-titling of assets between spouses to take advantage of the current $11,500,000 Federal Estate Tax exemption equivalent for both spouses. This will also minimize probate fees and help facilitate administration and asset management.
Strategy #2-Annual Gifts
Take full advantage of your annual gift tax exclusions ($15,000 per spouse per donee). Leverage these gifts whenever possible by wisely selecting the assets you give.
Strategy #3-Lifetime Gift Exemption
Consider utilizing part of all of your unified credit (Federal Estate Tax Exemption) to gift future asset appreciation estate-tax free.
Strategy #4-QPRTs and GRATs
Make prudent use of a Grantor Retained Annuity or Qualified Personal Residence Trust to effectively leverage existing exemptions, by reducing transfer value and lowering transfer costs without losing income interests.
Strategy #5-Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (“ILIT”)
Make correct use of irrevocable life insurance trusts (so-called “Super Trusts”) to shelter proceeds of life insurance from estate taxes. Review or restructure insurance portfolio to include products designed specifically for providing estate liquidity.
Strategy #6-Private Annuities & Installment Sales
Use private annuities and installment sales to spread capital gains on appreciated assets while shifting growth outside of your estate.
Strategy #7-Charitable Strategies
Consider creating a Charitable Remainder Trust to diversify and/or increase your income avoid paying income tax on appreciation when a low-basis asset is sold. Preserve 100% of the assets to generate income until surviving spouse dies. Receive income tax deduction, reduce estate taxes, and ultimately endow your favorite charity or foundation.
Strategy #8-Using “Junkmoney”
Minimize double taxation (income, estate) by utilizing assets from “overfunded” retirement plans (your pension or profit-sharing plan or IRA) as a funding vehicle for wealth transfer.
Strategy #9-Family Partnerships
Consider the use of family limited partnerships to take advantage of valuation discounts and to exercise control over assets without their inclusion in your estate.
Strategy #10-Generation Skipping
Consider the making of gifts to grandchildren when your children have no real need for more assets and are already facing potential tax problems of their own. Be sure to utilize your generation-skipping tax exemption.