With every change of administration come concerns about how this will impact national policy. The election could have several outcomes depending on Congress, as well, which will also impact just how much wiggle room and legislative support the incoming president receives. The reality is that it’s not likely much will change if the parties stay as polarized and split as they are currently, but here are some predictions about how estate planning laws and strategies might look different depending on who walks away the winner.
A Republican Congress and a Democratic president over the last four years has meant there has not been much substantial change in the way of estate planning recently, and that’s likely to continue if Clinton wins. That’s mostly because Clinton supports the same strategies as Obama, such as minimizing the estate tax exemption from $5 million to $3.5 million and boost the estate tax rate up from 40% to 45%. Unless Democrats are able to walk away with control of the Senate and the House, however, it’s unlikely either one of these provisions makes it through and becomes a reality.
Trump, however, plans to eliminate the estate tax entirely. Obama also currently has plans to eliminate or tighten up the requirements for more advanced planning strategies, including dynasty trusts, gifts to defective trusts, intra-family discounting, and GRATs.
The most important thing you can do with your planning goals is to work with an estate planning attorney you can trust. Although administrations and legislation do change, having an informed attorney can be one of the most effective ways to accomplish your estate planning goals. It’s imperative that all your documents are properly worded and drafted with the current laws in mind, and an attorney in the know can help you determine how any upcoming changes will impact your current plans. Consult with a New Jersey estate planning attorney to learn more.