Illinois Estate Tax Planning Lawyers
Skilled Estate Tax Planning Attorneys Serving DuPage County
Estate tax planning is essential for individuals with substantial assets. In recent years, the federal estate tax has fluctuated between 40% and 55%. A certain amount of assets are exempted from these taxes, but this figure is indexed each year for inflation, so the amount changes from year to year. On top of federal estate taxes, Illinois also imposes its own state death tax, which again fluctuates from year to year. To avoid being taxed on a large portion of your estate, it is important to plan carefully and employ a comprehensive estate, trust and asset protection planning strategy.
At Momkus McCluskey LLC, our experienced tax planning attorneys stay continually up to date on all the latest changes in federal and state estate tax law. Our team has an in-depth understanding of these laws and how they affect the estates of each client we serve. We take the time to thoroughly examine your unique circumstances so we can craft an estate planning strategy that preserves your hard-earned assets and ensures they are passed along to the next generation with minimal tax liability.
The main goal in estate tax planning is to diminish the value of your estate so it stays well below the state and federal thresholds wherein you would be subject to the estate tax. There are several ways to accomplish this goal, and the strategies employed will depend largely on your individual situation. In many cases, some type of trust is set up to lower the value of an estate. These include:
- Credit Shelter Trusts: Also referred to as “bypass trusts,” this is a popular trust for married couples. Assets within the trust (and income derived from them) can be used and are exempted from estate tax for the lifetime of the spouse.
- Generation Skipping (Dynasty) Trusts: The assets within a generation skipping trust are passed directly to the grandchildren of the grantor while bypassing the estate tax.
- Charitable Remainder Trusts: These are trusts in which the remainder of the assets will eventually be donated to a designated charity.
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts: Life insurance policies can be placed into this type of trust and be exempted from all estate taxes.
- Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT): This irrevocable trust is used to transfer the residence of the grantor out of the estate, thus reducing the value of the estate while simultaneously paying a low gift tax rate on the transfer.
Other Tax Planning Strategies in Illinois
There are other strategies that can be employed with or without a trust to reduce the tax liability exposure in your estate. For example, you can give annual gifts to your heirs to help diminish your estate value. The amount allowed by the IRS before being subject to the gift tax changes each year, so be sure to check with us to ensure that you are within these limitations. If you have a family business, a more comprehensive business succession plan may be needed to ensure that you have the best entity structure and the right documents in place to avoid future tax liability and other issues.
The tools used to minimize your estate tax burden are quite complex and require the guidance of experienced legal counsel. For a consultation with one of our skilled Illinois estate tax planning lawyers, contact Momkus McCluskey LLC today at 630-434-0400. Our team of knowledgeable estate tax planning attorneys serves clients throughout Illinois, including DuPage County.