Estate Planning Services to Real Estate Clients
Under current estate and gift tax rules, every taxpayer has the ability to give away over $5,000,000 of property during lifetime or at death. Anything in excess of the above amounts is subject to tax at a rate of 40%. In addition, there are annual exclusions and specialized exclusions for medical and educational gifts that provide many opportunities to transfer wealth well in excess of the current overall limits.
For those whose wealth is tied up with significant real estate holdings, the need for estate and gift tax planning becomes critical to avoid having to deal with unintended consequences (such as forced liquidations) of holding illiquid assets.
The ORBA Real Estate Group has helped many real estate clients navigate the complex estate and gift planning issues they may face. Using sophisticated techniques including, among others, family limited partnerships, intentionally defective grantor trusts, and grantor retained annuity trusts, owners of real estate have transferred significant amounts of wealth both during lifetime and at death far exceeding the limits noted above. Additionally, through the aggressive use of valuation discounts, we have created numerous opportunities to keep valuable properties within the family through multiple generations. Although taxpayers occasionally avoid dealing with issues related to their mortality, the tax benefits from this type of planning and conversely, the detriments of not planning can be significant. We also work closely with estate planning attorneys to help clients accomplish their estate planning objectives.