Given the parlous tax planning environment this year, John Scroggin, a business, tax and estate planning attorney, has a few suggestions. People with estates between $5 million and $10 million should consider making significant gifts in 2012 with the gift tax exemption dropping from $5 million to $1 million in 2013. Anyone holding significant cash in a C-Corporation should consider taking a dividend of the cash out before year-end as the federal dividend rate of 15% will expire at year-end. The federal capital gain rate increases from 15% to 20% in 2013, so complete any capital gain transactions before then. And a client whose longevity beyond 2012 is in question should have a general power of attorney in place with the authority to make gifts and/or advance bequests.

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