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Friday, April 19, 2024

Estate Planning, the Blueprint of your Legacy – It’s never too early to begin estate planning

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The beginning of every new year brings excitement and opportunity to start fresh.

A New Year’s resolution – a 4,000-year-old tradition – means setting a new goal or trying again another year for one yet to be accomplished. We all know reaching a goal, personally, in our careers or for our families, requires setting forth a plan for success, which can sometimes be the hardest first step to take.

Having worked with clients from all walks of life over the last decade, there is simple truth; we all have a legacy we want to leave.

As I began 2024 meeting with clients, all curious about their financial and personal goals, I’ve been reminded again and again about the importance of the estate plan we are developing together to achieve their goals.

Whether it is to pass on a family business, fulfill a charitable intent, provide for the future of a disabled loved one, or simply to pass down wealth to the next generation, each plan is customized to a client’s goal.

While I create a plan to help my clients reach their goals, it is always my mission to ensure that my clients understand that plan with the trust that its implementation will ensure their goals are met.

Over the next year, I plan to share information which, I hope, assists readers in thinking about their own estate plan and their legacy. And to consider that each plan aims to protect loved ones, which means, in part, giving them protection from the Internal Revenue Service.

And considering that April 15 is Tax Day, one of the fundamental aspects of estate planning is tax management. Right now, estate planners are focused on the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act and its ultimate “sunsetting” on January 1, 2026.

Without further Congressional action, the Federal Estate Tax Exemption amounts will be reduced to approximately half of what it currently is. In addition, individuals should be thinking about and talking with their estate planning attorneys about the Illinois Estate Tax Exemption, which is much lower than the Federal Estate Tax Exemption. Potentially, it will affect quite a few more individuals.

The time to plan is not in 2026, but now, while time provides estate planners options on how to maximize today’s exemption amounts.

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Carleton W. Yoder, JD, LLM
Carleton W. Yoder, JD, LLMhttps://www.huckbouma.com/attorney/yoder-carleton/
Carleton Yoder is an Estate Planning Attorney at Huck Bouma, PC.  Carleton handles estates both large and small, and represents his individual and business clients' transactional and operational needs through the custom drafting of Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Charitable Remainder Trusts, and business succession plans.
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