Michael Thrasher, a Partner in Bennett Thrasher’s Personal Financial Services practice, said current federal laws allow individuals to transfer up to $11.58 million in assets free of federal estate taxes. However, Thrasher notes that a new president could restore the exemption to “historical norms,” and eliminate that exemption retroactive to Jan 1, 2021.
Mr. Thrasher suggests that the election and uncertain economic prospects have “created a sense of urgency for estate planners who wish to take advantage of the current favorable estate tax regime, which may only be in effect through the end of the year, and potentially reduced company and asset valuations. While the election outcome will not be known until November, estate planning strategies can often take weeks or months to carry out and should be put into motion as soon as possible.” As a result, Thrasher said many clients have accelerated their estate planning.
He also mentioned other potential estate planning structures, including a Family Limited Partnership, Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust and Spousal Lifetime Access Trust, which allow individuals access to their assets.
Gina Miller is a Partner in the Bennett Thrasher Dispute, Valuation and Forensics department, noted that for estate planning purposes, the IRS wants a valuation completed by a qualified appraiser, i.e. a professional certified by a nationally recognized organization, as well as a lengthy report. She then discussed various factors that affect the valuation of a business, such as a lack of marketability or lack of control of market factors.
Thrasher provides financial and tax planning services to business owners, corporate executives and high net worth individuals, including investment allocation and estate, retirement and insurance planning. His industry experience includes individuals, professional services and real estate. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Georgia, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).