Simply put, early indications show probate will look much the same in 2013 as it does right now. While both New York probate lawyers and clients alike contemplate what the laws will look like in 2013, the United States Senate’s July 25, 2012 tax bill gives us a strong indication that no new changes are on the horizon. On July 25, 2012 the Senate passed their version of the tax bill by a vote of 51-48, which will move the bill into the Congress for further discussion. Although this primarily Democratic bill omitted any direct reference to extending the Bush era tax cuts with regard to the Estate Law, most Bush era tax cuts were in fact extended. For instance, this tax bill extended the Bush era tax cuts for both the Capital Gains Tax and the infamous Dividend Tax. The Dividend Tax was a very controversial tax break seen as helping only the rich but was still extended by the Democratic Senate. This tax break keeps the tax on dividends at 15% for most qualified individuals. This is excellent news for anyone on fixed incomes relying on their dividends for support. This is also good news for New York Estate Lawyers trying to advise their clients on how to plan their estates.

The consensus is, if the Senate was willing to agree to extend these controversial tax cuts, the Congress will agree to extend the current estate tax rates as well. The current estate tax exemption allows for an individual to pass $5,120,000.00 to their beneficiaries without ANY federal estate tax liability. A married couple is permitted to pass $10,240,000.00 to their beneficiaries without any federal estate liability as well. Therefore, New York probate lawyers in Queens and the surrounding boroughs have plenty to be optimistic about. Anyone contemplating redoing their estate based on what could happen in 2013 should feel assured. No administration in the history of this country has ever reduced the Federal Estate Tax Exemption, notwithstanding the 2010 complete elimination of the Estate Tax.

Additionally, next week, Congress will pass a Bill extending the Bush era estate tax cuts that will eventually make it’s way into law. For anyone planning their estate there has never been a better time to call their New York probate lawyers. By utilizing the current estate tax structure, which should be extended into 2013, a NY probate lawyer can help you transfer $5,120,000.00 individually or $10,240,000.00 as a married couple to your heirs without any Federal Estate Tax liability. For most, it is no longer necessary to enlist a Queens probate lawyer for elaborate, expensive estate tax avoidance when a will can pass this much inheritance free of Federal Estate Tax liability. If you have any estate planning questions please feel free to call a qualified N.Y. probate attorney at The Law Offices of Jason W. Stern & Associates.


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