In addressing their estate plans, some California residents have probably heard about the gift tax exemption, which is scheduled to change dramatically at the beginning of 2013 unless Congress takes legislative action. One of the most important aspects of estate planning is asset protection, and for individuals and couples looking to avoid unnecessary taxation, the gift tax exemption is of critical importance.
Californians recently witnessed one of the largest initial public offerings of stock in Silicon Valley history when California-based Facebook, Inc. went public. For some, like Facebook's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and other insiders, the IPO will only add to their already considerable financial assets. These 20 and 30-year-old millionaires prove that estate planning is not only the concern of the elderly; indeed, minimizing estate taxes and maximizing asset protection are very much on their relatively young minds.
A well-worn maxim tells us that death and taxes are the only two things of which we can be certain. Under particular circumstances, we can also be certain that the occurrence of the former will trigger the latter. Everyone should be aware of the estate tax, but especially those whose estates stand to be diminished because they exceed a specified dollar threshold. Proper estate planning can help avoid unnecessary taxation.