Estate Planning Opportunities Created by COVID-19

On April 23, Schneider Downs’ Darin Schindler, Greg Allison and Derek Eichelberger led a webinar for the firm’s personnel and friends discussing Estate Planning Opportunities Created by the COVID-19 Pandemic. A replay of the webinar and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation can be found at

In the webinar, the three touched on a number of topics relevant to today’s financial environment, including effects of the CARES Act and opportunities and strategies to maximize gift giving, revising trust arrangements and other wealth management options.

One such opportunity may lie in smaller gifting strategies. The current annual exclusion is $15,000 per recipient (or $30,000 for married couples who split gifts). With the recent unprecedented plunge in the stock market decreasing the value of many securities, taxpayers may find that now is a good time to give these securities as a gift, while their value is low.

When it comes to larger gifts, now may also be the perfect time to revisit your estate plan and determine new ways to leverage the market and favorable gifting exemptions and rates. Under the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), gift and estate tax exemptions are at historically high rates. Giving higher value gifts – or more gifts in general – at the current time will allow you to direct funds to your intended donors while the exemption is high, thus avoiding the additional gift or estate tax you would otherwise incur after TCJA expires in 2026. Vehicles that may be helpful to leverage these lower rates include Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts and Intra-Family Loans.

Additionally, under the CARES Act individual taxpayers will find a benefit in a $300 “above-the-line” deduction for charitable contributions, no AGI limitation for cash gifts to public charities, increased withdrawals from qualified retirement plans and extended filing deadlines, benefits that allow an opportunity to maximize the value of such gifts for the current year.

Click the link above to listen to the webinar in full, and feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the opportunities discussed. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

© 2020 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.

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