Estate Tax Planning Calculator Overview
When you pass away, the property, money and investments that you leave to your family makes up your ‘estate’. In order to preserve your estate for your family and friends, it is important to start your estate planning now. A great place to start your estate planning is to figure out what your potential estate tax liability will be.
This is all vital information that is worth knowing – by making your calculations and projections now you are doing everything possible to ensure that there are no nasty surprises further down the line. Armed with the knowledge gained from this calculator tool, you can also do more to ensure that as much of your estate as possible goes to the people you love when you die, rather than to the IRS!
How to Use the Estate Tax Planning Calculator
Follow these steps:
- Firstly, type into the box or use the slider to specify how much of your estate that you are intending to donate to charitable causes – this will decrease the total amount of tax you are required to pay on your estate.
- Enter your used gift exemption – the higher this is, the higher your estate tax bill will be.If you have never given a gift of over $10,000 this amount will be $0. If you have given gifts over this amount, click where it says ‘Used gift exemption’ to see how it is calculated.
- Check the box if you are married. Below, enter the amount of your estate that you intend to be transferred to your spouse upon your death, if applicable.
- Unless you have any reason to believe it will be different, you can leave the default value in the Inflation rate box, as this is based off the consumer price index (CPI) average.
- At this point you will see that the calculator does not yet return a result. That is because it is waiting for you to complete the next three sections.
- Click the [+] icon to open the Assets and Life Insurance section. If any of the descriptions are unclear, you can click on them for a more detailed explanation.
- Once you have completed this section, click the [+] icon on the Liabilities & Expenses section and enter your information there as appropriate.
- Click the [+] icon next to Estate value and tax projections to expand the section, and add the required information.
- Finally, click View Report to see your results.
Who is this Calculator for?
This calculator is most useful if you:
- Want to calculate the amount of tax you will be paying on your estate posthumously
- Would like to compare the amount of tax you will pay depending on whether you donate to charitable causes in your estate
- Need to calculate the total value of your estate
What is the purpose of the used gift exemption?
This is the method that the Inland Revenue uses to prevent extremely wealthy people from giving away large parts of their estate before they die in order to circumvent estate taxes. If you haven’t ever given someone a gift of $10,000 or more you needn’t worry about it. If you have, click on the ‘Used gift exemption’ text on the calculator for information on how to calculate it.