Estate Planning and Business Law

The Trump Presidency & Your Estate

Last month's election of Donald Trump and Republican majorities in both our Senate and our House of Representatives have raised a number of significant financial uncertainties for some Americans-- including those with estate plans. Below, we take a look at what Trump's proposed tax changes are and what you can do to prepare your estate plan for any significant changes in our country's tax laws.

President-Elect Trump's Tax Proposals

It's important to remember that presidents alone don't decide our country's tax laws. For example, on the campaign trail, Donald Trump talked about repealing the estate tax. However, for even minor changes to our federal tax code, our legislators in the House and Senate have to be in agreement, so there will likely be a level of compromise on any new tax legislature.

That said, Trump's tax proposals include:

  • Lowering all taxes via significant raises in standard deductions
  • Lowering the number of income tax brackets from seven to three
  • Lowering the maximum income tax rate from 39.6% to 33%
  • Lowering business tax rates from 35% to 15%
  • Repealing the estate tax

What You Can Do Now

For some estate plans, the elimination of the estate tax would be good news. This proposal, however, is not a certainty and changes to the overall tax code could have an effect on existing estate plans. These could be positive changes, or they could negative.

As estate planning professionals, our team at Blackwell, Santaella & Jahangiri LLP advises that if you already do have an estate plan in place or have been thinking about establishing an estate plan, you should take a proactive stance towards reviewing it and making any prudent changes under the current tax laws. Any of these plans or plan amendments that are made after the first fiscal quarter of 2017 could be subject to new tax rules.

It's normal to feel some anxiety about your estate plan whenever there is a change in legislative leadership. Here at Blackwell, Santaella & Jahangiri LLP, we always keep a close eye on any possible changes to our tax code and ensure that our San Ramon estate planning attorneys are ready to provide our clients knowledgeable and thorough counsel in these matters.

Ready to have your estate plan reviewed? Contact our offices today.

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