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2021 Updates in the Law and the Firm

Update in the Law

In 2021 the federal gift, estate and Generation Skipping Transfer tax applicable exclusion amounts will increase to $11.7 million per person ($23.4 million for a married couple). It is important to note that there is a sunset provision on this tax plan which means that in 2025 the above taxes will decrease to $5 million (adjusted for inflation). Therefore, those who are interested in using the entire exemption amount must take into consideration that they could be hit with a higher than anticipated tax bill if the sunset provision kicks in and there is not additional tax reform. It is also not clear how the pending Biden presidency will affect these figures and it is possible that exemption amounts may be significantly reduced. We are all anxiously awaiting to see how this will change in the coming months. the Despite the fact that the federal estate tax exclusion amount is so high, the Massachusetts estate tax exclusion remains at $1 million for the time being. Additionally, the 2021 gift tax annual exclusion amount will remain at $15,000 per recipient ($30,000 per recipient for a married couple).

A Note from Dwight Sowerby

To all my Friends and Clients: The time has come for me to cut back on my work. As most of you know, law is my second career and, much to my surprise, I just realized that I have been practicing law for nearly 25 years! It is time to go south and get out of the New Hampshire winters and to spend more time with my family. I am not completely retiring – at least not yet! Effective January 1, 2021, I will be “Of Counsel” to Sowerby & Moustakis Law, PLLC. (This is a fancy way lawyers say “part-time”.)  I will remain in touch with many of you, but I also know I am leaving you in great hands with Peter. Peter Moustakis is an outstanding young lawyer, and he has great communication skills. I have been looking for someone like him for some time so that I could provide my clients a “soft landing.” Peter and I have been working together now for over two years and he understands my client base very well. I will be working some remotely from Florida, but I encourage all my clients to contact Peter for any needed work. You may rest assured that I will be in frequent touch with Peter so that if he needs any back story that may not be in the file, I will be available to him.   I will return to the office on a very limited basis in the spring. Thank you all for the trust you placed in me and the friendships we have developed – my clients are also my friends!

About the Author

Avatar Peter Moustakis
Peter Moustakis is the Managing Member of Sowerby & Moustakis, PLLC with locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Peter has received an award related to estate planning, contributed to 2 family law publications and authored the book “Estate Planning and the Modern Family: Old School Meets New School. He is a former President, Vice-President, Secretary Treasurer and Education Coordinator of Business Networking International Commerce Connection in Wayland, MA. He is also the former vice chair of the animal law committee at the Massachusetts Bar Association and served on the New Hampshire Bar Association Ethics Committee. Peter believes that community service is important and has served on the Amherst town Ways and Means Committee for 4 years and was chair of the committee for 2 years.