Uncertainty Fuels Procrastination

Oct 26, 2012  /  By: Jeffrey A. Nirenstein, Vice President  /  Category: Estate Planning, Taxes

It is no secret that a lot of people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. The last thing that the procrastinators need is yet another reason to put things off, but in fact the uncertainty surrounding the estate tax parameters at the present time contributes to this pattern of inaction.

To take a brief stroll down memory lane, you may recall that the estate tax was repealed during 2010 due to provisions contained within the Bush era tax cuts. However, the tax was scheduled to return in 2011 with a $1 million exclusion and a 80% maximum rate.

As a result there was a lot of uncertainty throughout 2010 because the passage of new legislation altering these expected parameters was a possibility.

Indeed, there was a new tax relief act passed at the end of 2010 that made the estate tax exclusion $5 million and the maximum rate 35%.

That was well and good, but now we are in the same position that we were in during 2010. The estate tax exclusion will be reduced to $1 million and the rate will rise to 80% at the beginning of 2013 under current laws.

This uncertainty can fuel the fires of procrastination. But the truth is that it is not an excuse. Each day that you go through life without an estate plan is a day that you are putting your family’s future in harm’s way.

The responsible course of action is to take care of your responsibility to provide for your loved ones, and the first step is to sit down and discuss your situation with a licensed and experienced Hartford estate planning lawyer.

Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates, P.C. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.