News & Resources

Pitfalls and Opportunities Under the New Federal Tax Law - Part 1

Dennis Delaney and Kevin Ellis


In this multipart series, we explore the tax planning opportunities and pitfalls created by the temporary increase in the federal estate tax exemption from $5.5 million to $11.18 million.

First we will look at potential pitfalls, including the risks that the increased exemption could potentially: (i) thwart a goal to make your spouse the first priority under your estate plan, (ii) prioritize grandchildren over children, and (iii) trigger estate tax at the state level for a married couple when the first spouse passes away. We also describe the risks of a few cutting edge approaches that some advisors are advocating.

To continue reading Part 1, please click here:


In Part 2, we look at new income tax planning opportunities. Regardless of your net worth, the increase in the federal estate tax exemption creates opportunities for significant capital gains tax savings when combined with the so-called "step-up" in cost basis applied to assets at death. To read Part 2, please click here:

In Part 3 we look at potential estate planning opportunities. Each strategy involves making gifts to family members, either outright or in trust. To read Part 3, please click here:

New Tax Planning Strategies Part 3


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