BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV)- Question: I am a business owner with around $7,000,000 of net worth. I heard with the new tax law changes you can now pass over $10 million without being subject to estate taxes. Has the need for estate planning been eliminated?
Answer: (John Halterman-Beacon Wealth Management): "Trey, congratulations man. It sounds like you are a successful person and a lot of people who build up the kind of money you are building up, understand the new tax laws. You are correct. The new tax law states that as an individual index for 2018 you can actually pass up more than $11,000 and if you look at it as a couple, that is $22,000 if you have done some basic estate planning.
For a lot of Americans there’s no doubt about it, estate taxes may no longer be relevant because they are under the threshold."
Question: What else is estate planning about?
Answer: (John Halterman-Beacon Wealth Management): "That is the key. Estate planning is not just about estate taxes, which is what you really have to think about as wealth transfer. What I mean by that, people want to live or leave a legacy to their family. They want to make sure that the money they have, $7,000,000 in this case, gets into the exact hands of the people they want. Without some type of a state planning, it could go anywhere.
Another thing you have to be concerned about is probate. Probate is the proving of your estate. Anyone can come in and contest. One of the things you can do is you can set up a trust to avoid that.
Another thing you have to be concerned about is charitable giving. If you do have charitable giving, you have to plan that appropriately because it’s not going to just automatically go.
Another thing, what I consider to be the last thing, is that you have to be thinking "Is my family responsible enough to handle that money straight out?" You may have to set up some sort of trust so that everything can live off of that and follow your wishes without spending all that money all at once."