Advanced Planning to Avoid Estate Taxes

When planning financially and for taxes, many people fail to pay attention to estate taxes. While there are times when an estate must pay tax, you don’t want to leave your family with this burden if it can be avoided. But how can that be achieved? One successful approach is to work with a tax professional who fully understands the “ins and outs” of estate planning.  Pacific Tax & Financial Group has such experience.  Below is an overview of estate taxes and some useful information that is often helpful to our clients.  Call us today at (760) 471-2040 if you would like to set up a more formal estate taxation plan.

The Estate Tax Overview

Before you begin worrying about estate taxes, be aware that the majority of estates don’t owe taxes. You can legally give away or leave your beneficiaries a substantial amount of property without any federal tax obligations. With the federal estate tax exemption set at $5.45 million, you would have to have a significant amount of wealth before your estate will face taxes. You want to make sure your assets are left to those who you name as beneficiaries and limit your tax liability.

If you do have an estate that is larger than the amount of the exemption, you can reduce the tax liability. Here are some ways to find those deductions:

  • Use the marital deduction. Any property left to the surviving spouse is free from estate taxes unless your spouse is not a U.S. citizen.
  • Married couples have special rules. If a spouse dies and does not use all of his or her individual tax exemption, the surviving spouse can legally use what is left. With this approach, a married couple has twice the individual exemption amount.
  • Charitable deductions are free from estate tax, so anything you leave to a tax-exempt organization does is exempt.

If you think your estate could be imposed estate taxes because of its size, you should consult with an experienced tax planning professional. Using effective solutions that can help you avoid or limit estate taxes may help you to save large sums of money which can be redirected to other uses. In fact, savvy property owners often make use of different tools to reduce tax liability.


Securities and advisory services offered through NATIONAL PLANNING CORPORATION (NPC). Member FINRA/SIPC a Registered Investment Adviser. National Tax & Financial Network Inc, Pacific Tax & Financial Group Inc and NPC are separate and unrelated companies.
NPC does not provide tax advice.