2024 Estate Planning Opportunities

The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to take a new look at your current estate plan or to create one for the very first time. Here are some specific opportunities to consider in 2024:

Increased Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Exemptions

The estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions increased to $13,610,000 per person in 2024, which is an additional $690,000 of tax exemption per person. For those who have previously made significant gifts, this provides even more gifting opportunities. These opportunities include things such as gifting portions of your family business to the next generation, transferring growth stock, or helping your child with a down payment on a house. Unless Congress takes action to maintain the exemption at its current level, the exemptions are currently expected to decrease to approximately $7 million per person as of January 1, 2026.

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion – $18,000 Per Person

The 2024 annual gift tax exclusion is now $18,000 per person, meaning that someone can gift $18,000 per individual recipient without being required to report the gift on a gift tax return. One way to use this to further your legacy could be to set up a custodial account for each child and grandchild and contribute $18,000 to each one. This provides an opportunity to reduce the amount of money in your estate without having to file a gift tax return.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

If your goals for 2024 include philanthropy, a charitable remainder trust may be a great option to help you accomplish that goal. With a charitable remainder trust, you can transfer cash and/or property to an irrevocable charitable trust in exchange for an annuity payment. As a result of this gift being made to a charitable trust, any capital gain on this property is mitigated, and you will receive a charitable deduction that you will have 5 years to use up. When you pass away, the remainder interest in the trust passes to charity and will avoid any estate tax as it is not included as part of your estate. This trust provides a way to remove assets from your estate and also receive a set amount of money each year.

For help with your estate plan, contact us at Wilson and Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC at 708 482 7090 for our main office in LaGrange, Illinois or at 847 656 8958 for our Northbrook, Illinois office.