There are four elements to estate tax planning available to you and only four:
Gifts, Discounts, Charity, and Life Insurance.
The problem is most of us come to the table with preconditioned ideas as to the planning strategies available to us and therefore many times close off to the ideas that might best suit you.
As an example:
Charity- Charity begins at home, I don’ want to give my assets awayInsurance- I have to die to winIrrevocable- Loss of control, can’t change one committed
However, are you aware that Capital Gains taxes are voluntary? Are you aware that Estate Taxes are voluntary?
In many cases if you opt out and decide not to pay the taxes you may even get a bonus called a tax deduction. The government actually gives you a choice, you can volunteer to be actively engaged in social endeavors or the government will do it for you. If you choose to do it on your own then you will be rewarded for it by being provided a tax break since you have relieved the government from this responsibility.
The benefits derived from this voluntary approach are:
You can continue to buy and sell your assets as long as you liveYou may pay no taxes on the growth, only on distributionYou can become a Multi million dollar philanthropist w/o disinheriting your familyWealth is defined as what you control, not what you ownYou and your family can be in control into perpetuity
If you choose not to volunteer then the government will tax you and use the tax money to do it for us. If this is the chosen method you lose complete control over your own destiny as you have permanently given the money away with out any strings attached.
These strategies are not new, they have been around for many years. They have been tried and tested in our courts. You may have even heard of some of them:
Deferred inheritance trusts—-i.e. Grats, Grits, Defective trusts, etc.
664 Tax Exempt Trusts—-i.e. Charitable Trusts
It maybe appropriate for you to sit down with a professional and explore the benefits of planning so you can see for yourself how you can pay less to the government and get more for your family.