On September 13, 2021, Democrats in the House of Representatives released a new $3.5 trillion proposed spending plan that includes a wide array of changes to federal tax laws. Specifically, the proposal includes a number of significant tax increases and other changes to fund the plan, including increases to personal income tax rates and the capital gains tax rate, along with a major reduction to the federal estate and gift tax exclusion and new restrictions on Grantor Trusts that would basically eliminate these trusts from being used as planning vehicles.
While the proposed legislation is still under consideration and far from being finalized, given the broad-reaching impact these changes stand to have, it's important that you be aware of the proposal if you would be affected by its passage. With the exception of the capital gains rate increase, which could go into effect on transactions that occur on or after Sept. 13, 2021, most of the proposed changes would be effective after December 31, 2021, meaning that you have time to take action now if you choose. In part one, we discussed the new bill’s proposed changes to tax rates and estate planning vehicles, including several different types of trusts. Here, in part two, we’ll focus on what you should do now, given that the tax law is in flux and we may not have clear answers until close to the end of the year.
If you read our last article, or if you’ve been following the news about the coming changes, you know that none of us know what will ultimately happen—or even when we will know the final outcome. Given that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was not passed until December 2017, and the same thing could happen here, with some provisions potentially impacting your taxes this year, as well as provisions that could impact decisions you’d make for next year, what should you do when decisions must be made now?
This is exactly why we say it’s so important for you to have a relationship with a trusted lawyer that is ongoing, consistent, and allows you to get the support you need when you need it. As you likely well know, the one constant in life is change.
You acquire new assets. A child grows up and moves out. You change jobs, or start a new business, or leave an old one. A parent needs more care than before, and eventually dies.
In our book, life in motion is a life well-lived. And when you have a life in motion, you need ongoing direction, guidance, and support from a trusted advisor you can count on to be there for you through it all.
We are tracking the tax law changes, so you don’t need to—we know you’ve got far more important things to focus on in your life. We are consulting with financial advisors, CPAs, and our own mentors to ensure we’ve got our hearts and minds focused on the coming changes, so we can keep you informed and help you make the best decisions for yourself and the people you love.
That said, here’s what we know for sure—this last quarter of 2021 is going to be quite full, and it’s going to fly by. So if you have not already taken action to get your affairs in order, here’s what you should do now to be most prepared for whatever new changes eventually come down the pike:
If you have already done your planning with us, and you think you may be impacted by any of the tax law changes we wrote about in part one, get in touch with us if you would like to make changes to your plan.
If you have not done planning with us, get started with our Family Wealth Planning Session (FWPS). By engaging with the FWPS process, you’ll get a clear view into what you have, where it is, and we will be on your team with clarity about what will be impacted by the new tax law changes, so we can get into action for you when the final bill is passed by the end of the year.
Even if the size of your estate is modest and you have not engaged in any tax planning yet, you might think you can continue to put it off. But here’s why you should not wait to plan, even if you have a small estate.
Whether you will be impacted by the tax law changes or not, if you were to become incapacitated due to illness or injury today, or if you were to die tomorrow, your family would be left with a mess. Even if you have done your own estate planning with a DIY online service, your family would likely still be left with a mess. No matter how the tax laws change, if you have not planned, your family would be left with a mess. And it does not have to—and frankly should not—be that way. If you’ve ever experienced such events in your own family, you know the cost of such a mess.
If you haven’t already, consider what it is that is keeping you from getting your affairs in order. Then, think about the potential cost to both you and your family if you don’t take the time to properly manage your affairs, and your loved ones are forced to do it for you.
This is exactly why we’ve structured our firm as we have. Our number one goal is to make the planning process as affordable, effective, and easy for you, while providing the most benefit beyond just dollars and cents. Our process is designed to help you be a better parent, a better business owner (if you own a business), and a better citizen of our community—and that’s exactly how you’ll feel when you are done.
So again, we don’t know yet exactly what the government will do about the coming tax law changes. What we do know is there will be change.
If you are not yet a client, contact us to get started today. It’s going to be an incredibly busy few months until the year’s end, and that starts right now. We’d love to help you get your affairs in order, so you can be prepared for whatever happens.
Don’t Wait To Take Action
If your family stands to be impacted by any of the new bill’s proposed changes, it’s vital for you to strategize to ensure that whatever changes to your planning that needs to be made can be planned and executed before the end of the year—or in some cases, even sooner. Not only that, but given the number of proposed changes that are coming, financial advisors, CPAs, and estate planners are sure to be extremely busy in the coming months. And as we mentioned above, even if you have a relatively modest estate, and you know that you won’t be impacted by any of the new tax law changes, you still need to get your affairs in order to protect and provide for your family should something happen to you. If that’s you, contact us to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session, so you can finally take care of your estate planning and do right by those you love. Don’t put it off any longer.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That is why we offer a strategic planning session, during which you will get more financially organized than you have ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a planning session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
Disclaimer: All information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney trained to work with families on estate planning matters regarding your specific situation. Use of and access to this website or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, and any users or any other party.