Readers of this blog may have seen the recent piece about Phil Mickelson's frustration with the California state income tax. He's certainly not the only one complaining, as income taxes have steadily increased over the last several years and certainly seem likely to continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Death and taxes, the two things that are inevitable in this life, as the saying goes, also are the two things that make having an estate plan absolutely essential for people looking to protect their assets and avoid unnecessary taxation.
California sports hero and worldwide golf superstar Phil Mickelson had some choice words about the new state and federal income tax rates he, as one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, will be forced to pay as a California resident. That is, if he remains in California at all. Mickelson has expressed his frustration with the increase in the state income tax, as he recently saw his tax rate increase from 10 percent to 13 percent.
Californians may have seen a recent financial news article about the new taxes from the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare, that are scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of 2013. In particular, people need to pay attention to a new 3.8% investment income tax increase, which may change the estate planning needs of people looking to avoid unnecessary taxation.
Many people seem to believe that the term "estate planning" doesn't apply to them. To those people, only the rich and famous need to worry about intricacies of estate planning, because only they have estates worth making a plan for. That's simply not true. Average Americans from California to New York can profit by thinking ahead toward avoiding probate. One way to do that is to establish a trust.