Few people are really aware of how proper estate planning can minimize the bite that federal estate taxes and state inheritance taxes take from their estates.
Few people are really aware of how to avoid probate with proper trust planning. Everyone should be reasonably knowledgeable of the federal estate tax and the state inheritance tax; however, people need to know how to minimize these taxes and, where appropriate, how to eliminate these taxes altogether. In addition, people should be aware of when their estate will be subject to estate and inheritance taxes and how much of their estates will be affected. Estate planning should then provide an appropriate means of having the needed liquidity to pay those taxes without selling major assets. If there is a tax to pay, the accounting must be completed within six months after the date of death, and any payments must be made within three months thereafter.