Seth Slotkin Quoted in Law360 Story on Possible Estate Tax Repeal

Law360 has quoted Akin Gump tax partner Seth Slotkin in the article “Tax Planners Not Banking On An Estate Tax Repeal,” which looks at the advice being given to clients by trust and estate lawyers amid some uncertainty caused by new tax legislation in the House of Representatives.

The article reports that, under the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the estate tax exclusion would increase to $10 million starting in 2018 before the tax is completely repealed in 2024. The bill would also maintain the beneficiary’s stepped-up basis in estate property after the tax goes away and there would be changes to the maximum gift tax rate, with an annual exclusion of $14,000, indexed for inflation.

While the article notes that some lawyers are advising clients not to make large gifts right now because it could lead to the unnecessary paying of gift taxes if there were an estate tax repeal, Slotkin does not think gift giving will go away. While it is important to minimize gift tax risks, he said, there are many reasons other than taxes for estate planning and gift giving.

“Anyone who has wealth will create trusts for their children under wills or revocable trusts for many reasons,” Slotkin said. “When you look at the non-tax reasons for gift giving — creditor protection, or helping the younger generation learn what it means to have wealth and to manage wealth — those non-tax aspects are even more important.”