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Will new presidential policies effect my estate planning?

On election night it came as a surprise to many Americans that Donald Trump would be our next President of the United States. As a successful real estate businessman and reality television show star, when he announced his intentions to run for office he was met with much doubt and a general lack of seriousness. As the months went by and primary candidates kept dropping out while Trump gained momentum, it became apparent that his campaign was real. But, as the gaffes piled up, it still seemed unlikely to many that he would win.

It is important to recognize that with Trump's unconventional style and lack of history holding public office makes it very difficult to speculate on how he will handle any aspect of his presidency, including estate taxes.

It is possible that he could make drastic changes to estate taxes, including a repeal of the Federal estate tax and changes to individual income taxes, business taxation and taxes on capital gains. Or, the changes could be minimal.

With such uncertainty up in the air, many analysts and professionals are taking more of a wait-and-see approach. There is little reason to act on a whim, when the actions that could be taken might not be relevant or might become a less than ideal situation for you down the line. What is important is to understand that having estate planning documents crafted is always better than having nothing, so even if you are uncertain about your future it may be best to plan for now and consider changes down the line if and when they are warranted. This way you and your estate and wishes are always protected.

Source: Nasdaq, "How Trump's Presidency Could Affect Your Estate Plan," John M. Goralka, Dec. 21, 2016

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