End of the Year Estate Planning and Asset Protection Strategies
There are numerous demands that are typically placed on your time and budget during the holiday season. Unfortunately, this can cause you to lose track of the fact that the end of the year is fast approaching as well. Before 2019 begins, there are certain tasks you should complete which can help save you money while protecting your assets. The following outlines some simple strategies you can follow, which will help you be better prepared.
Financial Planning for the Year Ahead
While the official tax season is still months away, year end deadlines are fast approaching. Unfortunately, missing opportunities now could result in wasted money and a heavier tax burden in 2019. Money Crashers advises making the following financial moves before the current year ends:
Make maximum contributions to your 401k: In addition to reducing your taxable income, which lowers your tax debt, this also ensures you are taking full advantage of any matching funds offered through your employer;
Cut poor performers from your financial portfolio: If you have stocks or mutual funds that are not doing well, cutting them and taking the loss could have tax benefits. This can help offset a portion of the gains you have made in other areas over the course of the year.
Defer income: If possible, deferring business income or bonuses until the new year could put you in a lower tax bracket.
Make charitable contributions: If you itemized deductions, consider making several large charitable gifts over the holiday season, Provided you do so by December 31, you can claim them on your 2018 tax return.
Along with maxing out 401k and charitable contributions, review your health insurance policies and any health savings accounts (HSAs) you have in place. Contributing the maximum amount allowed to these accounts can help to reduce your 2018 tax liability.
Estate Planning Tasks
In addition to year end tasks which can help you in the upcoming tax season, this is also a good time to review your estate planning documents. Time/Money advises placing the following on your year end to do list:
Update estate planning documents to reflect changes in your assets: Be sure that any large purchases or new investments are included in your will.
Update your beneficiaries: Review any changes among family members or friends that should be reflected in estate planning, such as marriages, divorces, births, or deaths.
Consider making year end financial gifts: Provided you do not exceed the maximum amount allowed by the IRS, making financial gifts now to intended beneficiaries rather than waiting until after your passing may be a smart idea. It can help reduce your assets for Medicaid planning purposes while reducing the risk of future gift or estate tax penalties.
Let Us Help You Today
To discuss the above strategies or other tasks you can do now to protect and preserve your assets in the year ahead, reach out to Cavallo & Cavallo. Call or contact our New York Asset protection attorneys and request a one on one consultation in our Bronx or Westchester office today.