“For many retirees, paying taxes isn’t a one-time-a-year task”, a recent issue of Kiplinger’s Retirement Report points out. Even after taking care of their 2018 tax return, many seniors will need to work on their Form 1040-ES to pay estimated 2019 taxes, with the first quarterly payment due in April.
One thing that is true all year round, but which becomes most obvious as year-end approaches, is this: tax law and estate planning overlap. Just as tax attorneys and CPAs must regularly take into account their clients’ estate planning goals, we as estate planning and elder law attorneys must think about the tax ramifications of the planning we do with our clients.
At Geyer Law, part of our responsibility includes staying familiar with the laws that relate to the tax aspects of:
- wills and trusts
- social security benefits
- medical and long term care benefits
- life insurance
- pensions and other retirement plans
- real estate property
- charitable gifts
- college planning for children and grandchildren
- veterans’ benefits
What’s more, since quite a number of our Geyer Law clients are business owners, we must work in cooperation with their insurance, tax, and financial planning advisors on their:
- choice of business entity
- internal corporate documents
- liability issues
- succession planning,
all of which relate to their estate planning. Proper succession planning is crucial for business situations, because of the three what ifs: the death, disability, or retirement of a current owner.
For those old enough to remember the song lyrics, there’s a real parallel here: “Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage.” The “marriage” of tax planning and estate planning is not just a one-time-a-year task!
– by Rebecca W. Geyer