The September 9, 2010 edition of the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the ongoing uncertainty over tax rates is prompting an increase in charitable giving. That trend is expected to continue through year end. Here is the quandary. In 2011, income tax rates are expected to increase—potentially significantly. Those increased tax rates will predictably lead to less disposable income.
How many people do you know who describe with glee the meeting with their estate planning attorney? To the contrary, I know many who’ve been working on their estate plan for years. In fact, the plan will remain incomplete unless of course, they are facing international travel which will sometimes prompt a hurried meeting with the lawyer.
I often meet with families related to issues of planning their wills and trusts. Frankly, it is often a dreaded event for them. The truth is that most are well equipped when it comes to running their business at high performing levels. But few are equipped at passing on their business. Similarly, they all typically have some idea of how much wealth they’ll pass on to their children.