The high transfer tax exclusions would seem to make sophisticated estate planning unnecessary for many clients whose estates will not exceed the taxation thresholds. But there are many other considerations that should go into an estate plan including portability, income tax considerations and asset protection concerns that make "simple" planning a risk for many clients. The SECURE Act of 2019 and the CARES Act of 2020 have added new complications and opportunities to the planning process. Life insurance, retirement plans, existing estate plans, gifting and many other issues may need to be considered differently when advising clients in this new world of estate planning. The combination of the sunset of the 2017 Act after 2025 and possible “political risk” before then makes advising clients in 2020 of critical importance.
Obtain a comprehensive understanding of necessary planning to be done by clients with net worth below the current federal transfer tax threshold
Identify opportunities in the areas of income, gift and estate planning techniques which may benefit clients with estates that may be at risk of tax changes in light of political uncertainty and the impending sunset of the current law