Tonight’s first presidential debate signals that the 2012 election is fast approaching. Regardless of the occupant in the oval office in 2012, tax changes are inevitable. Leon C. LaBrecque addresses many of your concerns in his article, The Perfect Storm: Prospective Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts. For example, LaBrecque concludes:
“Charitable lead trusts are very attractive for 2012. The ‘Tax Storm’ of 2012 has a wide-reaching and profound effect on individuals, particularly those with charitable intent. The current historically low interest rates provide an unprecedented opportunity for Charitable Lead Trusts, excluded gifts, or low interest rate loans. The possible expiration of the Bush tax cuts make it an imperative for taxpayers with estates larger than $1M to sit down with advisors and make a determined plan of action. If the cuts expire, individuals will have a very narrow window of opportunity to utilize the $5.12M exclusions, the GST exemptions, and the benefits of the current law. This is a year in which pre-planning is crucially important. And, in the off chance that the estate tax is repealed and the income tax rates are permanently lowered to the tax cut rates (in which case we will have a whole new set of problems), the overall family and charity situation has been reviewed and carefully considered.”
As you listen to the debates and decide how you should vote consider your tax situation and explore whether the charitable lead trust is a sound option. The Stewardship Foundation has developed many charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts and donor advised funds for our clients. Please contact us so we can assist you to optimize this unique opportunity.