This year could be your once in a lifetime year-end 2012 estate tax planning opportunity. However, you should act fast considering there are only 53 days left this year before we might all experience “taxmageddon.”

Clients hope that the presidential election will clarify the future of transfer tax rates and exemptions. However, the answers they seek may not be the answers they would like to hear. Therefore, this remaining year may be the opportune time to take advantage of the current federal applicable lifetime exemption which may soon be a thing of the past. The exemption for transfers is $5.12 million per person, and twice that for a couple. This is the highest exemption in estate planning history! Any amount over this magic number is taxed at a top tax rate of 35%. For gifting purposes, the annual exclusion for gifting is $13,000 per person, per recipient.

However, serious changes could be looming on the horizon. The current estate and gift tax is set to expire by the end of the month. There may be pending legislation to drop the exemption to $1 million with a top tax rate of 55%. It may be wise to act now given the unfavorable situation we may all be faced with.

Embrace the opportunity to preserve your wealth and protect your assets while you still can by fully using any remaining gift tax and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions now. Contact your South Florida estate planning attorney for a toolbox of techniques for achieving your long term planning goals before Congress opens Pandora’s Box of tax reform.

If you have family, friends or even a charitable intent, the absence of an estate plan is inexcusable. For more information on successful Florida estate planning and probate techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at to schedule your free consultation.

It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?