High-net-worth families breathed a collective sigh of relief as 2021 concluded without Congressional approval of the White House’s Build Back Better economic and social services agenda. However, even with the potential demise of the bill and many of its previously proposed tax consequences, wealthy families should not put on hold the estate-planning strategies they already set into motion earlier this year.
The latest version of the Build Back Better framework is a far cry from the $3.5 trillion spending package the House Budget Committee approved in September. Gone are proposals to increase income and capital gains tax rates, reduce federal estate tax exemptions and restrict and even nullify the tax-benefits of certain retirement saving plans and grantor trusts. Moreover, with West Virginia Senator Joe Mancin’s December rejection of the bill in its entirety, it’s unknown whether any significant tax reform legislation will be enacted in 2022.
This does not mean families should abandon recently adopted estate-planning strategies or postpone planning in general. Rather, ongoing planning under the guidance of professional advisors is critical in helping to protect wealth today and ensuring heirs are well cared for in the future. The tax consequences of those decisions are, indeed, important, but they should never be the guiding principle behind a well-thought-out estate plan that meets a family’s unique needs and goals. If history is an indication of the future, tax laws will continue to evolve along with changing political currents. However, the best way anyone can stay afloat and ride out unpredictable storms is to have an estate plan that keeps you and your family well-anchored.
About the Author: Eric P. Zeitlin is CEO and managing director of Provenance Wealth Advisors, an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors
+ CPAs, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. For more information, call (954) 712-8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Eric P. Zeitlin is a registered representative of and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Members FINRA/SIPC.
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Posted January 13, 2022