With the recent increase to the thresh hold for imposing the federal estate tax, fewer families will need extensive tax planning as part of their estate plans. For these families that do not need estate tax planning, the primary focus of their estate plan is to determine how to distribute their assets and whether to distribute assets outright to the next generation or to include trusts which delay and/or restrict distributions based on age, perceived responsibility or any other number of criteria. An increasingly common practice among these families is to create lifetime trusts for their children to protect these assets for them against risk of loss through divorce or damages related to personal liability lawsuits. This type of estate planning can provide peace of mind that your legacy will be used as you intended.
Griffith & Jacobson has extensive experience in Estate Planning for families that continue to be exposed to federal and state Estate Taxes. For these families, the main focus may be to minimize exposure to taxes and/or the most tax efficient way to get the family business to the next generation.