This article reprint was published in Volume 40 of the Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal and provides an overview of the federal tax laws known as the Delaware Tax Trap, including:A review of the Trap’s history.How to spring and not to spring the Trap, and when to spring and not to spring the Trap.A summary of how the Trap works under current Delaware law and how it works under the laws of some other states.
The decision whether and how to best transition out of your business is seldom easy. Several key factors may include: (i) financial needs moving forward for you and your family; (ii) your desire to remain involved in the business in some capacity; (iii) the involvement of business partners and/or family members; (iv) the impact of income and/or estate taxes; and (v) market conditions.
That question is really just another way of asking “Have I saved enough to provide for myself for the rest of my life?” You must weigh whether a lifetime gift jeopardizes your retirement needs— including long-term care costs—against the enjoyment of seeing loved ones or charities benefit from your gifts. Generally, people wealthy enough to plan to avoid federal estate taxes can afford to give some gifts during their lifetimes.