Hillary Clinton likes to promote herself as a populist.
If you listen to her speeches, she often breathes the fire of a dyed-in-the-wool socialist.
The perfect example is her position on the estate tax…
She’s an outspoken advocate of using the estate tax to keep families from passing wealth from one generation to the next.
In fact, her support of the estate tax is so strong that you might get the idea that she doesn’t have any money to her name.
Of course, we all know that’s not the case.
If you recall, she made big news recently when she announced to ABC that she and Bill were “dead broke” upon leaving the White House. Yet she was quickly forced to backtrack.
Ironically, the Clintons have accumulated so much wealth that they’re now devising ways to evade the same taxes Hillary has supported so stridently!
The good news is, you can employ these strategies, too…
A Secret Hiding in Plain Sight
The dreaded death tax doesn’t affect any individual who tries to leave $5.34 million less to their loved ones.
But together, the Clintons boast a net worth of at least $25 million. Heck, some estimates put their combined wealth at greater than $100 million!
Don’t worry about them, though.
They’re already mitigating their eventual estate tax penalty by placing their New York home into a residence trust. This shields any increase in value from the tax man.
Something tells me it won’t be the last trust they set up, either.
You see, the Clintons – like the Waltons, Rockefellers, and Kennedys before them – understand something that most Americans don’t: With effective tax planning, estate taxes might as well be voluntary.
In reality, the estate tax has been a much greater burden for “ordinary” estate owners – like family farmers, successful small businessmen, and small investors with highly illiquid assets.
Unlike the fabulously wealthy, most average Americans don’t have tax advisors showing them how to achieve huge amounts of tax savings.
In the end, though, there are simple solutions for us regular folks, too.
Tax Loopholes for Everyday Americans
The key is to give your assets to the next generation as soon as possible!
It’s no coincidence that, in the time between the passage of the estate tax and it becoming law, John D. Rockefeller gave his son hundreds of millions of dollars.
And the Clintons, by putting their home in New York in two trusts, are similarly transferring the value of the home to their daughter, Chelsea Clinton. When the home finally transfers, the increase in value will be her windfall, not part of the taxable estate at the Clintons’ deaths.
Of course, there are more loopholes than just the real estate trust.
One of the most popular is a device called the “Walton GRAT.”
The beauty of the GRAT (grantor retained annuity trust) is that it’s battle-tested in court, having won the blessing of the U.S. Tax Court in 2000 despite protests by the IRS.
Bottom line: Extraordinarily wealthy or not, any individual can put these loopholes to work with the right planning. Either way, if you believe your estate is worth more than $5.34 million, you owe it to yourself to seek advice from a qualified attorney.
This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service (Flickr)
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom
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