Berman & Asbel, LLP

Taxes go hand in hand with estate planning, Congress talks gifts

Estate planning occurs over a lifetime. Bequeathing property upon death is certainly a part of it, but there are a variety of factors to consider and tools that can be utilized to create an effective estate plan. When it comes to estate planning, one of the most important things to consider is taxes.

For many people, they see taxes as this "other" part of their everyday lives and separate from estate planning. However, the ways taxes are structured has an effect on how one tailor's their future. Right now, charitable gift giving is on the discussion block and a lot of people are concerned about the outcome.

Charitable gift giving is a big part of maximizing estate planning tools, but amendments to charitable deductions could affect how people give. Congress is currently discussing possible changes to the tax code sections covering charitable deductions - one that 38.7 million households are expected to benefit from on the returns filed before this year's tax deadline.

Part of the scrutiny falls on the fact that those who earn more are the ones who most often use and are able to maximize this deduction. Some say that those income earners are disproportionately benefitting from the way the deduction is structured. Others, such as nonprofit organizations that rely on donations say that it is those that the charities help that are the true beneficiaries of this deduction and that the ability to deduct keeps the donations flowing.

Source:, "Congress weighs changes to the charitable tax benefit," Feb. 18, 2013

Keeping up to date on the changes to the tax code and how they could affect estate administration in the future is a vital part of effective estate planning. Our Philadelphia law firm helps families manage future estate tax exposure through careful planning now.

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