Dear Clients, Friends, and Trusted Advisors,
As we approach the middle of 2021, we remain very busy. Donna, Liza and I work remotely on most days, but I am in the office a few days a week for appointments when I am not working from beautiful Saranac Lake. We have all been fully vaccinated, but we remain respectful in observing your personal safety regime for in-person meetings. Super Lawyers has again named me to their honor roll, and this makes seven years, so far.
Our documents and records remain fully digital, with paper files only as absolutely necessary (such as the Will Vault). Our meetings are conducted via our telephone conference call facility, or via video web connection, as desired. We are now expecting to be able to use a video/zoom alternative we are testing, which does NOT require any downloads or for our clients to enter personal information. Until them, we are running on zoom for video meetings.
This contagion has impacted our perceptions of our mortality, and we hope will spur you fence sitters to action. We are ready to help you review, modify or create your estate, tax and business planning and hope this is moving up your list of priorities. The obvious market volatility and the dramatic changes to the values of our financial and non-financial assets do offer opportunities for timely intervention and tax efficient family wealth transfers and planning. Historically low interest rates allow the use of techniques for intra-family loans and transfers that can greatly and positively affect the financial security and well being of your heirs.
We must acknowledge the tax changes now pending in numerous different legislative proposals in Washington. Together these are designed to raise more money via income tax, estate tax, and gift tax increases. If implemented across the board would these would be be very painful. Other proposals are designed to close the tax saving techniques (and loopholes) that we use for our wealthy families. These new rules are wide ranging and potentially devastating. Fortunately, we expect any final legislation passed later this year or next year to be substantially diluted. Still--families with appropriate assets should consider taking advantage of the current generous estate and gift tax exemptions which expire in 2025, and assess the risks attendant upon a "wait and see" approach. Certainly, we urge all of our clients to review their current documents and circumstances with us, and these consultations are done on a courtesy basis without charge.