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A major area of misinformation and misunderstandings in the estate law and estate planning areas are the taxes that are imposed upon one’s death in Pennsylvania.
Very simply, two death taxes can be imposed on the death of Pennsylvania residents – the:
Federal Estate Tax
Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax
However, and unlike the income tax, which is very descriptive in its title as it is imposed upon your income, the phrases Estate Tax and Inheritance Tax are misnomers in that may tend to belie the actual fact that these are taxes imposed by virtue of your death.
Media Pa Probate Law – 3 – Taxes – Federal Estate Tax
Historically, the Federal Estate Tax has begun at a wealth threshold. If you possess less than the wealth threshold at your death, the federal estate tax will not be applicable.
If it is applicable, the tax is imposed on a percentage scale according to the amount of your wealth (i.e., potentially 47% of the value of your assets above the wealth threshold).
The current wealth threshold of the Federal Estate Tax has been changing drastically throughout the last decade. It has increased, disappeared, and reappeared in 2011.
In 2005, the threshold was $1,500,000.00; in 2006, 2007, and 2008, the threshold was $2,000,000.00; in 2009, the threshold was $3,500,000.00; and in 2010, the Federal Estate Tax was scheduled to be, and in fact was, eliminated.
However, and although the Federal Estate Tax was scheduled to return with a wealth threshold of just $1,000,000.00, in 2011, it did not. The Internal Revenue Service changed that law and “announced the 2015 estate and gift tax limits […] and the federal estate tax exemption rises to $5.43 million per person, and the annual gift exclusion amount stays at $14,000.” “IRS Announces 2015 Estate And Gift Tax Limits”
The federal estate tax exemption—that’s the amount an individual can leave to heirs without having to pay federal estate tax—will be $5.43 million in 2015, up from $5.34 million for 2014. That’s another $90,000 that can be passed on tax-free. The top federal estate tax rate is 40%.
There are four primary documents that tend to form the foundation of most good Estate Plans.
Although each document has a different purpose, each document designates someone who is responsible for carrying out the wishes set forth in the document.
I refer to these people – those in charge – as “The Bosses.”
It is so rare to find an attorney who is willing to meet you at your place of convenience rather than always having to go to their office.
I am extremely impressed with how John is so personable and service oriented.
I would definitely refer him as the attorney to take care of your probate and will needs.