Estate Taxes Explained

February 1, 2020 3:19 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you’re planning for the future, it’s only natural to want to provide a sense of security for your friends and family after your passing. Of course, for entrepreneurs who attain a certain level of wealth, there’s the threat that a tax will be levied after your death. It’s known as the estate tax, and it is a concern for people who plan to pass on considerable assets to their loved ones.

What are estate taxes in Napa County, CA? Read on to find out.

The property transfer tax

The IRS labels the estate tax quite simply as a “tax on your right to transfer property at your death.” In other words, when someone dies, certain state and federal authorities assess the fair market value of the sum total of every asset attributed to that person.

Any real estate holdings, stocks, insurance policies, trusts, etc. are added up and identified as an individual’s “gross estate.” With proper estate planning beforehand, deductions can be applied to the gross estate. This new number is the “taxable estate.”

Before you start worrying

The vast majority of estates won’t have to deal with the estate tax matter. The estate tax is assessed on a sliding scale and only applies to people who have made many millions of dollars throughout their life. For example, if your total estate has a net worth below $11.5 million (and change) in 2020, then you shouldn’t have to worry about an estate tax being taken when you pass.

Even better, the estate tax only applies to individuals. That means if you’re married, you and a spouse’s combined estate can total roughly $23 million before you have to worry about the estate tax. For those people who have accrued enough, estate planning experts can provide insight into ways to soften the blow associated with the estate tax.

How does California handle estate taxes?

Of course, understanding the basic definition of estate taxes, doesn’t specifically answer the question, “What are estate taxes?” Fortunately for those Napa County, CA residents worrying about the ramifications of the estate tax, it may come as a comfort to know that California doesn’t tax estates, regardless of their size.

That said, the federal estate tax still applies and is something to consider should you fall under the umbrella of the estate tax.

The estate planning team

If you still find yourself wishing to have estate taxes explained in greater detail, there’s help in Napa County, CA. Come to County Appraisals Inc., where our knowledgeable team of experts can help you find the right way to prepare for your estate’s transition.

Outside of estate tax planning, our financial wizards specialize in appraisals and valuations for parcels of land in and around beautiful Napa Valley. For more than a decade, County Appraisals Inc. has established ourselves as comprehensive financial experts, whether our clients are in search of land for a vineyard, winery or even a rural family home.

Our appraisals are effective for lending, estate planning, purchase negotiations and so much more. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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