Practice Subgroup

Estate and gift tax planning

Both the federal gift tax and federal estate tax rates are onerous-scheduled to rise to a top rate of 55 percent. States may impose a separate gift, estate or inheritance tax as well. We assist our clients in maximizing their available exemptions to limit these taxes. We take into account the ongoing changes in the law in this area. This includes the proper utilization of the annual exclusion for gift tax and full utilization of the applicable exclusion amounts for both federal gift tax and estate tax.

We further implement planning techniques to proactively take advantage of discounting principles - thus minimizing exposure to estate tax. These techniques include family limited partnerships, installment sales to grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRAT), qualified personal resident trusts (QPRT), charitable lead annuity trusts (CLAT) and charitable remainder trusts (CRT).

Our clients have assets in Illinois as well as in every other jurisdiction. As federal estate tax has generally decoupled from state estate tax, we craft our documents to take into account the diverse estate tax laws applicable to the individual states.

Given adequate time, we can match the proper technique to our client's unique situation to produce significant savings of gift and estate taxes.

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