Now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for the Affordable Care Act to go into effect, it is time for Americans to consider how the new health care laws will affect them. Beyond the potential changes to the affordability and availability of health insurance, there are ways that the Affordable Care Act might affect your estate plan.
The Act creates a new investment income surtax that goes into effect on January 1, 2013. The tax applies not only to individuals, but also to Trusts and Estates that net over $12,000 in investment income and do not distribute that income to heirs and beneficiaries. What is distributed applies to the individual heirs’ and beneficiaries’ tax.
This new tax will not impact all estate plans, but you should review your plan now to see if it does have an impact on your plan. If you need to make changes to your plan to offset the impact of the tax, then you have a limited window to do so before the tax goes into effect. With the estate tax exemption set to expire at the same time, you should also be looking at how that might impact your estate plan. Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney before you run out of time.