If you are unsure about your estate tax exposure you may not be all that concerned about the matter. If worse comes to worse your family members will have to pay a small percentage to the powers that be and it is really no big deal, right?
The answer to this question depends upon your definition of a “small percentage.”
At the time of this writing the top rate of the federal estate tax is 35%. A lot of people would say that this is anything but a small percentage. However, believe it or not this 35% rate is actually considered to be an instance of tax relief.
The current estate tax rate is in place due to provisions that are included in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010. This tax relief act expires at the end of this year, and when it does the estate tax rate is scheduled to go up to 55%.
When you get into the realm of taking more than you leave behind to the rightful heirs to an estate you are going to start raising eyebrows and indeed, many people find this 55% rate to be quite excessive.
Given the rather harsh nature of this death levy you really must do everything legally possible to mitigate your exposure. If you would like to discuss your situation with an expert, simply take a moment to set up an informative consultation with a seasoned, savvy Indianapolis estate planning lawyer who has a thorough understanding of tried-and-true tax efficiency strategies.