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How Can I Reduce Or Eliminate My Estate Taxes

Never go into a Courtroom Alone!

In simple terms, there are three (3) ways to reduce taxes:

1. Use Both Exemptions

If your spouse is a U.S. citizen, you can leave him or her an unlimited amount when you die with no estate tax. You may encounter a problem though. Let’s say, for example, that Tim and Sarah together have a net estate of $4 million and they both die in 2008. Tim dies first. He leaves everything to Sarah, so no estate taxes are due then. When Sarah dies, her estate of $4 million uses her $2 million exemption. The tax bill on the remaining $2 million is $900,000!

But if, instead, Tim and Sarah plan ahead, they can use both their exemptions and pay no estate taxes. A tax-planning provision in their living trust splits their $4 million estate into two trusts of $2 million each. When Tim dies, his trust uses his $2 million exemption. When Sarah dies, her trust uses her $2 million exemption. This reduces their taxable estate to $0, so the full $4 million can go to their loved ones. This planning can also be done in a will, but you would not avoid probate or enjoy the other benefits of a living trust.

2. Remove Assets from Your Estate

A great way to reduce estate taxes is to reduce the size of your estate before you die. You probably know whom you want to have your assets after you die. If you can afford it, why not give them some assets now and save estate taxes? It can be very satisfying to see the results of your gifts; something you can’t do if you keep everything until you die.

Appreciating assets are usually best to give, because the asset and future appreciation will be out of your estate.

Assets you give away keep your cost basis (what you paid), so the recipients may have to pay capital gains tax when they sell. But the top capital gains rate is only 15% (assets held at least 12 months). That’s a lot less than estate taxes (45%) if you keep the assets until you die.

3. Buy Life Insurance

See page on life insurance trusts. This can be an inexpensive way to pay estate taxes and the death benefits are not included in your estate

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your estate planning options.


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Beyond Expectations

My husband had never been in any legal trouble before and we didn’t know what to do or what the process was. Attorney Kaehne was very upfront and willing to explain every step of the way. My husband can be very skeptical when it comes to trusting people with his best interest, but Attorney Kaehne always remained professional and helpful. My husband was facing the possibility of years in prison and Attorney Kaehne was able to get the matter dismissed. He will always be our first choice!

The Outcome was Far Better than I Expected

Attorney Kaehne always communicated with me on what was going on and his plans for future court appearances. The outcome of the case was far more better than I expected and am really pleased that Chad did what he did to get this issue resolved.

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Amazing people as well as amazing attorneys. I was always treated like family.

Not Guilty Verdict

Attorney Corey Mehlos gave my case the upmost attention. He worked very hard and many long hours on it. I was impressed with his dedication and his understanding to my wishes. Not Guilty verdict at my jury trial. I highly recommend him.

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One of the best things about this firm is that they are truly advocates for you in every sense of the word. They listen, affirm, and explain everything without all the jargon that can so often times come with anything regarding the legal cases. I felt supported and knew I was in good hands.

Getting Responses at 9:00 pm at Night

The best lawyer you can hire for your case! Chad was extremely helpful and polite in answering all of my questions. I was even getting responses to my emails at 9 at night. He did a great job helping me get through the legal process. I recommend him to anyone needing a good lawyer.

Keen Sense of Justice and Honesty

Amaro is a very efficient attorney with extensive knowledge of the hispanic culture and language. He has a keen sense of justice and honesty. For the years I have know him he has proven to be a source of counsel. His clients will find his humble and cordial demeanor, appealing and refreshing. This is why I would recommend Amaro to everyone looking for legal advice.

Never Stops Working

An excellent attorney. Nicholas was very helpful with our case. He excelled at explaining complex legal concepts. Very accessible, we never had an issue getting an answer to a question. I don't think he stops working. Highly recommended.

Passion and Understanding for her Clients' Wishes

Attorney Cottle helped with my immigration case, she made the whole process much less stressful and you could tell she had a passion and understanding for her clients' wishes. Great experience, would highly recommend!

Available and Responsive to Needs of her Clients

Attorney Laborde shows professionalism in everything she does. She is a thorough lawyer who honestly cares about her clients and represents them to her full ability. She makes herself available and is responsive to the needs of her clients. I would certainly recommend her family law services!

Over-the-Top Attorney

From my experience, Attorney Kelsi Cottle has been an over-the-top attorney. She keeps me apprised of my case, has answered my questions, and treats me with respect. She has been very efficient, handles things expediently, and I feel I am represented by a very sharp attorney who has my best interest in mind.