Filed Under:Life Insurance, Life Planning Strategies

Estate Planning: Focus on the Legacy, Not the Tax Bill

Concern over the stuttering economy, uncertainty surrounding the upcoming election and the ambiguity of future estate tax legislation have left many high net-worth Americans stunned and leery about planning for estate taxes. Furthermore, back-of-the-napkin calculations and standard estate tax discussions no longer address their concerns.

The 2010 Tax Relief Act staved off looming tax increases and offers unique estate planning opportunities through 2012. This law reinstated the unified gift and estate tax credit with an applicable exclusion amount of $5 million per person and $10 million per couple (all-time highs) and a top tax rate of 35% for the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes for 2011-2012. Further, the estate, gift and GST tax exemptions were each indexed for inflation beginning in 2012 and are now $5.12 million. In 2013 and beyond, assuming Congress fails to pass a new law, the exemption will drop to $1 million and the top rate will rise to 55%. Without knowing what changes will come on Jan. 1, 2013, many people are taking a wait-and-see approach.

3 conversations to have with clients today

Here are three key reasons to start talking with clients today about their legacy planning goals.

3. Give clients what they want. Guarantees, flexibility and control are the three drivers behind consumer behavior today.

In this time of turbulence and uncertainty, clients want life insurance products with guarantees, such as no-lapse guaranteed universal life insurance, where the death benefit will be paid out regardless of market performance.

Featured Video

Most Recent Videos

Prospects not listening to voice mail? Arrange a phone date


Redesigning your phone life is more important than finding the “best words” for a voice mail in today’s culture.

Behind the scenes with Vicki Gunvalson [VIDEO]


In this exclusive interview, Vicki Gunvalson shares how she built a $15 million a year annuity business by planning for...

Regulator: Market may need to reinvent LTCI


Cioppa says Maine's governor wants to spur the creation of better products.

Dementia: It's more than Alzheimer's


An association calls for policymakers to remember lesser-known neurodegenerative conditions.

Related resources

More Resources


Power your business with up-to-the-minute insurance news, analysis, and best practices from LifeHealthPro Daily eNewsletter – FREE.

Power your business with LifeHealthPro Daily eNewsletter – FREE.

Enter a valid email address.
Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
Managing Editor

Thank you for subscribing to LifeHealthPro Daily!

Check Out More eNewsletters Now! Close

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.