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End of Year Estate Planning Tips

Posted in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

It is easy to become overly preoccupied with the holidays during the month of December and to overlook the fact that there are some important deadlines approaching. Before 2018 gives way to the new year, take the time now to address some important estate planning tasks, which can benefit you and your loved ones both now and in the years to come.

Four Estate Planning Tasks to Complete Before the End of the Year

Estate planning involves protecting your loved ones in the event something happens to you. It also involves protecting your assets by shielding them from taxes and other types of liabilities while making sure your personal wishes regarding any unexpected events in the future are known. The following are four important tasks to address at some point over the holiday season:


  • Take Advantage of the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a gift tax exclusion of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per couple. This means that you can make this amount as a gift to a family member, without either of you having to pay taxes on it. Giving this type of gift may help avoid estate taxes in the future. It can also reduce your assets for Medicaid eligibility, in the event you need long term care in the years to come.
  • Make Charitable Donations: If charitable donations figure into your estate planning, you may want to consider donating some of these funds now, before the end of the year. If you deduct expenses on your tax return, these can be claimed and may help to protect your assets by reducing tax debt.
  • Discuss End-of-Life Plans with Family and Friends: While discussions about end of life issues can be touchy, family gatherings put you in contact with the people most likely affected. The Conversation Project offers tips on subtle ways of bringing the topic up.
  • Make Changes in Your Will: The end of the year provides the perfect opportunity to make updates to your will. Looking over the previous 12-month period, consider any changes in your family such as marriages, births, or deaths. Consider any property or assets you may have lost or acquired over the year, as well. All of these should be reflected in your will or other estate planning documents.


Our Will County Estate Planning Attorneys are Here to Help

In matters affecting you and your loved one’s well-being and financial security, Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C. can provide the legal guidance you need. To request a consultation regarding how we can help you, contact our Will County estate planning attorneys today.

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