Last year was a fairly big year for tax news; with the repeal of the estate tax, the increase in the GST tax exemption, changes to 401(k) and IRA rules, and eventually the agreement on the new estate tax laws, we never wanted for something to write about. But one of the biggest stories may be just hitting the news now. A recent article in the Washington Post reveals that with the right planning, your grandchildren may now have “the ability to receive a tax-free inheritance of $400 million or more.” This isn’t just big news, “this is by far the biggest estate-planning break on record… a tax break you could drive 10 Mack trucks through.”
With so much political huffing and puffing over the state of taxes one might well wonder how a tax break this big could come about. Washington Post writer Karen Hube explains: “This massive estate-tax break was created last year in two steps. First Congress lifted a $100,000 income restriction on who can convert a 401(k) or IRA to a Roth IRA, allowing even the wealthiest investors to convert. Then late in the year, it raised the generation-skipping transfer tax exemption (GST) to $5 million until 2013…Both of these provisions on their own create possibilities for significant tax savings. But used in combination, the results are exponentially greater.”
Of course, taking advantage of this opportunity may not be as easy as it is laid out in the article. With so much at stake, interested investors will definitely want to consult with their estate planners and financial advisors before jumping into anything. But an opportunity like this one won’t come along every year, and this particular opportunity won’t last forever—the $5 million GST tax exemption will only last until 2013. If you think this tax break may benefit your family don’t wait, contact your financial advisor immediately.
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