The tax proposals in 2021 should give cause for all financial planners to reconsider the estate and liquidity planning strategies for clients. These proposals, which may resurface, would have significantly impacted a number of planning strategies, to include irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs). There also was a proposal/ attempted legislation to reduce lifetime estate and gift tax exemption amounts prior to 2026.
While no one can predict the future of these proposals, it is prudent for clients (mass affluent to HNW) to reassess their estate plans and the continued viability of their wealth transfer vehicles and liquidity positions. This should include a review of the performance and durability of their life insurance policies, does their ILIT still make sense, would a Family Limited Partnership (“FLP”), a GRAT, SLAT, or sale to an IDGT be a better choice than an ILIT (or something to be utilized in addition) and how an even deeper reduction to the Lifetime Gift and Estate Tax Exemption would affect them.