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What's the future of the estate tax in California?

Everyone wants their heirs and beneficiaries to get as much money as possible when they pass away. They've worked hard for that money and assets that they've accumulated, and they want to see it continue to be used for good and for the benefit of their family.

President Trump has said that he'll repeal the federal estate tax, which is currently at 40 percent. This appears to be good news for people who inherit a significantly large estate ($5.45 million or more). With a majority-Republican Congress, the president may well get his way. However, one California state senator is seeking to keep the estate tax in our state.

The state senator from San Francisco, Scott Wiener, says "If Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are hell-bent on cutting taxes for our wealthiest residents, we should counter-balance those tax cuts by recapturing the lost funds and investing them here at home in our schools, our healthcare system, and our roads and public transportation systems."

With careful estate planning, you can minimize and maybe even avoid having your heirs pay an estate tax (sometimes referred to as a "death tax). That can be difficult if you have a family business or a family farm. With state inheritance taxes, your combined tax rate could be as high as 68 percent.

No one knows what federal and state laws will impact Californian's estates. If you have a large estate, when doing your estate planning, you want to spare your heirs and beneficiaries from unnecessary taxes. An experienced California estate planning attorney can help you do that.

Source: Forbes, "Trump Vows Estate Tax Repeal, But California Plans Its Own 40% Estate Tax," Robert W. Wood, Feb. 23, 2017

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