Estate planning sounds like it only applies to people with large fortunes or complicated assets, but anyone who wants their descendants to have an easier time sorting out who gets what. There are several restrictions and taxes on how Connecticutians can dispose of their assets and properties after death, but most apply to the higher echelon of owners and earners.
The U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the federal exemption on estate taxation to $11.18 million worth of assets, properties and financial instruments. The Nutmeg State is also incrementally raising these exemptions to cover more and more valuable estates. The 2018 gift tax exemption in Connecticut rose to $2.6 million, and it is poised to increase again.
The new year will bring a higher exemption, as estates conferred in 2019 will not be taxed if their collective values are $3.6 million or lower in value. In addition, the government in Hartford has scheduled an increase in 2020 to match the federal exemption at over $11 million.
People who still see the possibility of taxation on their valuable estate may decrease their liability through a variety of legal and financial options. Gifts to family members during an estate holder's lifetime or the creation of trusts may shield some assets from taxation.
Anyone looking to secure the future of their estates for their children and organizations may seek legal representation during preparation, hearings in probate court or other times in which an attorney may make a difference. A lawyer can help take a larger view of estate planning and find the right options.