American General Life Companies (American General) are poised to help clients, prospective clients and their advisors capitalize on the unique estate planning environment that we currently and transiently find ourselves in.
The uncommon estate planning atmosphere of the moment is derived from a confluence of various circumstances.
The federal gift tax exemption is the highest that it has ever been at $5,120,000. At the same time, the top gift tax rate, on amounts above the exemption, is the lowest it has been since 1931: it currently sits at 35%. However, in 2013 (without congressional action) the exemption will drop to $1,000,000 and the top tax rate will rise to 55%.
Gifting is often considered as a savvy aspect of estate planning because the gift and the growth on the gifted assets is outside of the donor’s estate at the time taxes must be paid. This results in more money going to one’s heirs and less being paid in the form of taxes, to the government.
American General has developed a new suite of tools that have been designed to help clients take advantage of the current estate planning opportunities. The tools include a web-based 2012 gifting brochure; an online playbook and a white paper, all tailored to assist high-net-worth individuals and families about the opportunities available this year.