WSJ Quotes Beth Kaufman on Estate Planning Under the Biden Administration

Wall Street Journal

Americans now have less than two months to do the impossible: make guesses about major tax changes next year and do year-end planning based on them.

. . .

The other proposal affecting people below the $400,000 threshold would shift estate and gift taxes back to the 2009 law. Among other changes, this would lower the estate-tax exemption to $3.5 million per person, a 70% decrease from its 2020 level of $11.58 million.

. . .

To be sure, both proposals are starting points and will encounter fierce opposition if introduced. Many taxpayers will also flinch at planners’ advice for locking in the benefits of current law, because that would mean giving up control of assets to trusts or heirs by Dec. 31.

“It’s hard to tell someone with $12 million in assets that they should give away $11.5 million of them by year-end to save on estate-tax increases that may not happen,” says Beth Kaufman, an estate-tax attorney with Caplin & Drysdale.

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