Estate administration and the new tax laws

The new tax law has a lot of people in Georgia and elsewhere shaking their heads. Not necessarily because they disagree with it, but just in trying to understand it. It will change a lot of things for a lot of people. For instance, it will affect how assets may be distributed during the estate administration process.

When a loved one dies, his or her estate needs to be administered. This is often done after going through the probate process, though, probate is not always necessary. It all depends on how the estate plan -- if there is one -- was written, how complex the estate is and if family members or others file any claims against the estate.

The new tax law may change how much beneficiaries have to pay in both estate and death taxes. Congress rid the federal tax for those estates with values between $5.6 million -- which was the previous limit -- and $11.2 million. So, the tax burden is one that will be felt by fewer people. However, these new limits may require some individuals to change their estate plans in order to limit the tax burden on their heirs.

The goal of any estate is generally to ensure beneficiaries are provided for, but a lot can be lost to taxes if one is not careful. The new tax laws may help with this. Those going through the estate administration process in Georgia may turn to legal counsel to help them get through it swiftly and smoothly, all while walking away with more in their pockets and paying less to Uncle Sam.

Source: Forbes, "5 Questions To Ask Your Estate Planner After The New Tax Law", David Robinson, Jan. 9, 2018

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