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New tax laws to be considered when estate planning

Making the most of a person's assets is not always easy. People often want to spend their money a certain way, but can't for one reason or another. However, in an estate plan, people are given wide authority over how they want to distribute their assets. People are able to give money or property to family and friends, they are able to donate to charity or ensure that a loved one is taken care of.

But, these goals are only possible if people take the time to properly create an estate plan while they are able. This requires a careful examination of a person's own desires and the applicable law. If Michigan residents fail to take new laws into account when drafting or reviewing their estate plans, they may run into estate administration issues.

In particular, people need to keep changes to the tax code in mind as they make estate planning decisions. For example, the Internal Revenue Service recently changed so called "portability" rules when it comes to certain trusts. Under the new rule, spouses have more freedom when it comes to using certain unexercised tax-free exclusions. This can make it more advantageous to create certain types of trusts.

Understanding the complex and often changing rules surrounding estate planning is difficult for many Michigan residents. People need to remember that their estate planning documents cannot always be static and often need to be constantly reviewed to meet the current laws and a person's own individual goals. With the right help, people can ensure that their families will be able to take full advantage of their assets after they have passed. With this peace of mind, people can truly enjoy their lives.

Source: USA Today, "Your estate plan: Be aware of new laws," Joseph A. Clark, September 13, 2015

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