Estate Tax Protection

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Estate Tax Protection & Planning

You work your entire life to save and have enough money to comfortably retire—and ideally leave something for your loved ones when you pass away. During your life, you pay all kinds of taxes: income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and so on. And at the end, the government even wants to tax you on the assets you have left at your death. 

This is known as the estate tax, sometimes called the inheritance tax or death tax. The best way to protect your assets and your family's future from excessive taxation is to hire an attorney who specializes in estate tax planning. The experienced estate tax planning lawyers at Roots and Wings Legal can help you reduce — if not entirely avoid — the federal estate tax burden.

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How Does The Estate Tax Work?

The estate tax is totally separate from federal income taxes and is paid on the net value of all your assets owned at your death. However, there are fairly sizable exemptions to the estate tax, so it's primarily high net-worth individuals and their families who are affected.

That said, the estate tax rate is a whopping 40%, so we're talking about potentially massive sums of money being owed by one's heirs. And that bill must be paid to the IRS within 9 months of the decedent's death.

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Exemptions To The Estate Tax

As of 2024, the estate tax exemptions established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 are still in effect. Currently, the exemption amount for individuals stands at $13.61 million, and for married couples, it's approximately $27.22 million.

However, it's important to note that these increased exemption amounts are set to expire at the end of 2025. With the sunset of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the exemptions are expected to revert to their pre-2018 levels, adjusted for inflation. This means in 2026, the exemption amounts could potentially decrease to approximately $7 million for individuals and $14 million for married couples.

This upcoming change makes it crucial for individuals and families to review their estate plans and consider strategies that accommodate these adjustments. Our estate tax planning experts at Roots and Wings Legal are equipped to guide you through these changes and help you develop an estate plan that maximizes tax efficiency and aligns with your family's financial goals.

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Advanced Estate Planning Strategies

Families with high-value estates face several complex legal and tax issues — and the estate tax is only one of them. At
Roots and Wings Legal, we offer a number of advanced estate planning strategies that are primarily aimed at reducing a family's tax burden. In addition to the estate tax, we also help families navigate the gift tax and generation-skipping tax to pass assets on for successive generations without risk of estate tax decimating the estate at each generation.

Some of our most popular advanced estate planning tools and strategies include:

  • Life insurance trusts
  • Qualified personal residence trusts
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts
  • Asset protection trusts
  • Land trusts
  • Dynasty Trusts 
  • Family limited partnerships or limited liability companies
  • Asset gifting

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Estate Tax Planning Lawyers In California

You worked hard to build your family's wealth and legacy, so it makes sense to put similar effort into protecting those assets—and that includes protecting them against excessive taxes. Contact the estate tax planning attorneys at Roots and Wings Legal to minimize the potential tax burden faced by your family, so you can maximize the inheritance you pass to them.

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Welcome to Roots and Legal

At Roots and Wings Legal, we understand that estate planning is a journey, not just a destination. Our personalized services are designed to grow with your family, ensuring peace of mind at every stage of life.

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Contact Us Today

Roots and Wings Legal is committed to answering your questions about estate planning issues in California. We offer consultations and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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