What’s New in Estate Planning for 2024

Now that 2024 is in full swing, it’s time to make sure you’re discussing the latest developments in estate planning with your attorney to ensure that you’re maximizing opportunities for your estate plan.

When inflation is high, tax exemption figures are adjusted upward, which can create opportunities related to gifting and other estate planning-related strategies. If it’s been more than three years since you updated your estate planning documents or if you’ve experienced significant life changes, now is a good time to schedule an appointment to talk about what’s new in estate planning for 2024.

Taking Advantage of Higher Tax Exemptions

In 2024, gift, estate and generation skipping transfer (GST) tax exemptions increased to $13.61 million per individual – an additional $690,000 per person. Higher exemptions mean that individuals can gift more to family members or other beneficiaries, thereby reducing the tax burden on their estate.

Looking ahead to 2026, it’s important to note that these Basic Exclusion Amount (BEA) exemptions and GST tax exemptions are expected to be substantially lower when they decrease to $5 million per person on January 1, 2026, unless Congress votes to maintain current exemptions. Therefore, 2024 and 2025 are prime opportunities to have a conversation with an estate attorney about strategies for making significant gifts.

Such gifts may include gifting sums of money or appreciated stock, properties and other real assets, or charitable gifts. Planning gifts carefully can help minimize any potentially negative tax consequences and maximize potential tax benefits. The conversation can also include discussion of business succession planning.

Making the Most of the Gift Tax Annual Exclusion

The 2024 annual gift tax exclusion is now $18,000 per person, which means that a parent or grandparent could give children and grandchildren up to $18,000 per individual recipient without needing to file a gift tax return. The gift tax annual exclusion permits you to make tax free gifts without having any effect on your BEA. Annual gifts over the $18,000 exclusion amount will require filing a gift tax return, but no gift tax will be due unless your total lifetime gifts exceed the $13.61 million cap on tax exemptions.

Now may be a great time to consider funding a child’s or grandchild’s college savings or putting money in a trust for their future use.

Maximize Charitable Giving

Taking advantage of the gifting opportunities in 2024 may include consideration of charitable giving. Proper estate planning can allow you to realize favorable tax treatment for gifts made during your lifetime and bequests made at your death under your Will, revocable living trust, or beneficiary designations. There are charitable giving techniques for giving to a favorite charity or charities without a significant cost to either you or to your desired individual beneficiaries.

The attorneys at Morgan & DiSalvo have extensive experience in helping their clients with all manner of gifting to family, to trusts, and to charitable organizations.

If you would like to discuss your unique estate and tax planning needs, please call us at (678) 720-0750 or e-mail us at info@morgandisalvo.com to schedule a consultation.

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