woman and granddaughter after updating a trust

When you leave money behind for loved ones, you would probably rather not leave them with a big bill for estate taxes. Fortunately, there are legal ways to structure your estate so that you can minimize how much your family will end up owing in estate taxes. A Washtenaw County estate planning attorney from our firm can help you with that.

What Are Some Effective Ways to Reduce Estate Taxes Owed?

Fortunately, there are a few ways to reduce the size of your estate and affect how your assets can be taxed. Some options that might work for you include:

Trusts: There are all sorts of trusts that you can set up to protect your assets and provide for your heirs when you are gone. Some trusts can be used to give away money while you are still alive, others can be used to manage charitable giving while you are alive and after you have passed. We can also help you if you want your assets to be used to provide for a family member who may struggle to care for themselves by setting up a special needs trust.

Family partnerships: You can take steps to set up your estate like it’s a business. It would take the form of a limited partnership or LLC, two common ways of establishing a traditional business. Then you can gift “shares” of your estate to your heirs.

Gifts: Nothing is preventing you from giving away your money now. There are limitations, but giving gifts is an effective way to transfer wealth to your heirs and reduce the size of your estate. You can give $18,000 to someone in a year without worrying about taxes. Your spouse can also give that same individual $18,000. That’s $36,000 per recipient per year, and you can give gifts to as many people as you would like to.

Transfers to minors: If you have minor children or grandchildren, you can transfer property and money to them under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. This allows for the transfer of anything from patents to valuable artwork. You can also set up an education savings account. When you transfer money into an account for your child or grandchildren, those assets are no longer considered a part of your estate.

Can a Lawyer Help Me Minimize the Amount of Estate Taxes Paid?

Of course a lawyer from our firm can help you with this. We can help you explore all of the estate planning options and tools available to you. If an arrangement is a good fit for you and your beneficiaries, we can help you take advantage of it. Whether you need to set up a trust, adjust your will, or take any steps to preserve your assets, we’re here to assist you.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Team

When you are ready to learn more about your estate planning options, contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra. We will help you do everything that you can to ensure that the bulk of your assets go to your beneficiaries instead of the tax collector.

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