Why You Should Still Care About Estate Taxes

Many people think of estate taxes as a problem just for rich people. But even with favorable legislation last year, even ordinary people need to pay attention to estate taxes.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, explains why ordinary people should pay attention to estate taxes. Dan notes that even with exclusion amounts of $5.25 million, the inclusion of certain property can make taxable estates balloon higher than many people think. In particular, Dan gives the example of life insurance, with many people not taking advantage of the willingness of insurers AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) , Hartford Financial  (NYSE: HIG  ) , and other insurance companies to use life-insurance trusts to avoid potential estate-tax ramifications. Dan concludes with discussion of different state laws on estate taxes, pointing out that many states have much lower amounts above which estate taxes might be due.

Be smart about your taxes
Paying attention to estate taxes is just one way to make sure you don't pay more to Uncle Sam than you have to. In our brand-new special report "How You Can Fight Back Against Higher Taxes," The Motley Fool's tax experts run through what to watch out for in doing your tax planning this year. With its concrete advice on how to cut taxes for decades to come, you won't want to miss out. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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