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Q&A: Do I need to be concerned about estate planning if my total assets are less than $5 million?

Yes. The federal estate and gift tax exemption and tax rate will change at the end of this year unless Congress changes the law. If there is no change, effective January 1, 2013, the federal gift/estate tax exemption will decrease from $5.12 million to $1 million per person and the portability of unused estate tax exemption between spouses will be discontinued. Therefore estate planning is recommended for anyone who owns (either individually or together, as a married couple) assets of $1 million or more. Also, it is important to have a Will and Durable Power of Attorney for reasons other than tax savings, such as ensuring your assets are distributed to your desired beneficiaries upon your death, providing for the management of your property if you become incapacitated and naming a guardian for minor children.

Nancy E. Kennedy
Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
1201 3rd Avenue, Suite 3400, Seattle, WA 98101
[email protected]
Estate Planning & Tax

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