Explains What One Should Know about California Estate Tax Explains What One Should Know about California Estate Tax

Estate owners and their heirs must create a plan to manage the estate and all its assets. Estate plans outline how the assets are divided among the heirs, and the owner finds new ways to decrease the value of the estate. The total value of the estate determines how much estate taxes are owed when the owner dies. 

What is an Estate Tax?

An estate tax is the tax owed on the estate after the estate owner dies. Essentially, the estate owner must make arrangements for their attorney to take a portion of money out of their estate to pay the state or federal government according to the value of the estate when the owner dies.

When creating an estate plan, the owner can add these stipulations to their will. Fortunately, the state of California doesn’t have an estate tax, but many lawmakers have made attempts to create one according to Pandemic heats up state tax competition to attract businesses and residents

How Does Estate Tax Work?

When the estate owner dies, their estate enters probate, and the court calculates all taxes owed by the estate owner and their heirs. Probate allows creditors to apply liens against the estate to collect outstanding debts, and the heirs won’t get access until the debts are paid off completely. The estate tax is deducted from the total value of the estate before the heirs gain access to any of their inheritance. 

How Is It Different from Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance tax is the tax applied to the inheritance each heir receives from the estate. The tax is applied to each asset individually, and the heirs must pay the taxes by the deadline presented by the probate court. Estate owners can learn more about these taxes and follow steps to decrease them by reading the information published here today. 

How Can Estate Owners Manage the Taxes for Heirs?

With a proper estate plan, the estate owner can set aside a savings account or life insurance policy to pay off inheritance and estate taxes. The expenses can become too much for family members, and if they didn’t have extensive monetary assets themselves it could present a financial hardship. Estate owners can learn more about estate plans and how to protect assets by visiting a law firm such as CunninghamLegal now. 

How Can They Reduce the Value of the Estate?

An effective way to decrease the value of the estate is to remove assets from the estate into an irrevocable trust. The trust becomes the owner of the assets, but the estate owner has control over the assets until they die. The owner can assign a successor to the trust, and they take it over when the estate owner dies. 

Estate owners must calculate all tax implications that could be applied to their estate after they die. The most common taxes are estate taxes and inheritance taxes. Fortunately, the state of California doesn’t have an estate law yet. However, a careful estate plan could help the estate owner cover taxes for their heirs.

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