The Wealth Counselor
Trump’s First 100 Days: Looking Back and Planning Ahead
How to Help Your Clients Future-Proof Their Estate Plans
Through tried and true estate planning measures, we can make sure your clients’ plans are both flexible enough to handle change and sturdy enough to weather the uncertainty. In addition to providing wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other core documents that make up a sound estate plan, we will continue to keep our fingers on the pulse of the legislative developments that will matter to them most.
While there have been several proposals that may impact estate planning, no significant changes have already taken effect. Let’s begin with a quick look back at these first 100 days and consider what they’ve meant for the U.S. tax and healthcare landscape. Then we’ll discuss strategies that can be used to make sure your clients’ estate plan are future-proof.
Actions from the first 100 days that could affect estate planning
1. The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act
2. Repealing the federal estate tax and GSTT
Another point of consideration is what would happen to the gift tax and generation-skipping transfer tax (GSTT) should the estate tax be repealed. Given the uncertainty surrounding these potential high-impact changes, the best tactic at this point is to plan for multiple scenarios and remain abreast of any pertinent proposals or votes in the coming months.
Why flexible planning is crucial in this period of flux
● Privacy: Ensuring that the details of your clients’ estates do not become public record by way of probate proceedings
● Protection from court interference: Avoiding situations like probate or living probate (also known as guardianship or conservatorship) by creating and funding a living trust
● Long-term care: Appointing healthcare providers and healthcare powers of attorney in case you become incapacitated so that it does not become the court’s decision, resulting in guardianship or conservatorship.
Planning with flexibility is now more important than ever. No one can know exactly how proposed changes to our tax and healthcare systems will shake out in the coming months and years. In addition to the new administration’s effect on estate planning, the coming elections in 2018 and 2020 may provide even more changes to tax and healthcare policy. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to create a plan that achieves a client’s goals but has enough flexibility to roll with the punches.
Let’s make your estate plan ready for anything
Times are changing, but a well-designed and flexible estate plan is always a benefit for your clients and their families. Feel free to get in touch with us anytime to discuss your clients’ needs in this shifting political climate, and together we can make sure their plans are in excellent shape and ready for whatever comes next.
Law Offices of J.R. Hastings • 1003 Third Street, San Rafael, California 94901 • 415-450-6692