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Bracing for Changes…Still

Ryan P. Laughlin, CPA, MST, JD, AEP®
Wipfli, LLP
Green Bay, WI

October is home to National Estate Planning Awareness Week.  If you watch and read the news, though, you may think that October is actually National Estate Tax Planning Awareness Month!  Will November be any different?  In February, I wrote in this column that: “As estate planners, we face constant change and uncertainty.”  We all expected tax legislation and changes to come at some point.  The Biden administration handed out talking points in the Spring, and the Ways and Means Committee gave us actual text to review, debate, and ponder last month.  Yet, November is right around the corner and can anyone say with certainty what the law will look like next year…or even this year?  We are all bracing for that inevitable change no matter when it comes.

Taxes no doubt play an important role in our clients’ estate plans and how they conduct their affairs.  We need to be aware of pending changes and the impact they have on our clients’ families, businesses, charities, etc.  This issue of the Journal provides some of the best content available on the overall proposals for change and on specific areas that need special attention (e.g. valuation discounts, disregarded trusts, and others).

However, since National Estate Planning Awareness Week recently occurred and because estate planning encompasses far more than just taxes, we also provide our readers with valuable content on topics that will apply to clients regardless of what tax laws look like or which political party is in charge now, next year, or after the next election cycle.  The material includes timeless reminders that our client’s goals and objectives always come first, regardless of their net worth or tax picture.

This is exactly what NAEPC is about – all of the professionals connected to estate planning.  Next week is our 58th Annual NAEPC Advanced Estate Planning Strategies Virtual Conference.  The event features nationally-recognized speakers on advanced topics of interest to allied professionals and provides opportunities for attendees to cultivate multi-disciplinary relationships while collaborating on cutting edge ideas and trends. The conference educational sessions are for every member of every estate planning council and all estate planning professionals.  Please take a moment to check out the conference information; we would love to see you there!

Happy Reading!

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