Akridge & Balch, P.C. | Attorneys at Law
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Tax-efficient estate planning: Minimizing your tax liability

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2024 | Estate Planning

Tax-efficient estate planning can help you minimize the tax burdens that your estate will incur upon your passing. By making this effort, you can work to maximize the value of your estate for the benefit of your beneficiaries and your legacy overall.

To this end, if you don’t yet know the differences between estate and inheritance taxes, there is no time like the present to start learning. Estate taxes are levied on the total value of an individual’s estate before it is distributed. By contrast, inheritance taxes are imposed on the beneficiaries who receive assets from the estate.

Utilizing gifts

One of the simplest ways to minimize estate taxes is through the strategic use of gifts. The IRS allows individuals to give a certain amount per year to an unlimited number of people without incurring gift taxes.

Establishing trusts

Trusts are powerful tools for estate planning, offering control over how your assets are distributed while minimizing taxes and protecting your estate from probate. For example, a bypass trust can shelter assets from estate taxes upon the death of a spouse, while a charitable remainder trust can provide income to the beneficiaries with the remainder going to a charity, while providing you and/or your estate significant tax deductions.

Getting life insurance

Life insurance can also play a consequential role in tax-efficient estate planning. Proceeds from life insurance are typically exempt from income and estate taxes if structured properly. This can result in a tax-free inheritance to your beneficiaries while also offering liquidity to cover any estate taxes and expenses.

Tax laws are complex and constantly evolving. As such, your tax-efficient estate planning efforts may prove to be most effective if you seek personalized guidance while you’re constructing your approach or revising an existing plan.