Elderly woman discussing estate plan with lawyer

Why Not Combine Tax Time With Estate Planning?

Since preparing to pay your taxes is time-consuming and requires thoughtful organization, it can be the perfect time to also work on your estate plan with a competent estate planning attorney. In Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, the accomplished lawyers of Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. are eager to help you use the same energy to tackle both projects. Here’s why:

1. You may have been procrastinating about both tax preparation and estate planning. Seeing the possibility to cross both off your list at once may provide you with the incentive you need to complete both tasks and begin the New Year prepared for the future.

2. You’re Already Gathering and Organizing Your Financial Information

The financial papers you’re collecting to file your taxes — bank statements, 1099s, records of uncovered medical expenses, charitable donations — will also be valuable in terms of estate planning. Because your estate simply means all that you own, you will also need data about your real estate, retirement accounts, life insurance, investments, businesses, and other valuables, such as collectibles, jewelry, and art.

3. It’s Time to Make the Most of Your Giving

If you are subject to high-income tax and/or give large sums to close relatives on a regular basis, you can use gift tax benefits to maximum advantage by presenting those you love with gifts that will not incur tax for either of you. The acceptable amount per person is $17,000 in 2023. Because the federal exemption for estate tax is now $12.06 million but will revert to 5.9 million in 2026, our estate planning attorneys can help you take advantage of this high exemption now and for the next few years. We will also assist you in lowering your income taxes through charitable donations of various kinds.

4. Other Ways to Protect Yourself From High Taxes

In addition to personal gifting and charitable donations, our estate planning attorneys can help you protect your assets from income taxes and estate taxes during your lifetime, as well as protect the inheritance your loved ones receive. We have strategies well-crafted for this purpose, including the creation of trusts and contributions to retirement accounts and flexible spending accounts. In addition, trusts can also serve multiple objectives, such as avoiding probate and protecting the eligibility of special needs relatives for government benefits.

5. If You Own a Business, It’s Time to Protect It with Succession Planning

Though your business may be thriving this year, consider how it would fare if you became incapacitated or died. How would the loss of your business affect your loved ones? Your employees? Business succession planning is a central part of estate planning and our attorneys will help you ensure that your business can continue being profitable even if you are unable to be at its helm.

Contact Our Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys Today

Getting in touch with our skilled estate planning attorneys promptly will enable you to work on your estate planning and tax preparation at the same time — definitely a win-win situation.

We will help you make a will, create trusts as needed, and draft the documents that will protect you and your family in case of an illness, accident, or medical event (e.g. Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy). Contact us now to make the most productive use of your time and start off the New Year on the right foot.