After a wild ride toward the fiscal cliff, many financial advisors now say the frenzy was worth it — even if clients' worst fears failed to materialize.
Advisors worked overtime during the last few weeks and months of 2012, trying to keep as many of their clients as possible from being sucked over the so-called fiscal cliff, when taxes were expected to rocket up across the board after
“In my last 3 months of 2012, I took in something like 100 new
Many new clients who came knocking on the doors of planners and estate attorneys late last year wanted help at the eleventh hour in gifting up to
Scramble for Nothing?
But thanks to the
Even so, many clients who met the deadline now feel relieved they did what needed doing, several planners say.
“I have had had several conversations in the last week or so [in which clients have said], ‘Merry Christmas and thank you so much for all the effort in getting this done — no matter what
Big, Premature Giveaways
Some advisors expressed relief at no longer having to talk clients out of making bad decisions. “I was amazed at how many people wanted to give away
The Oshins spent the waning days of 2012 trying to convince many of them not to make such a large gift rashly. “A lot of people looked at this
In many cases,
For now, Lee thinks politicians in
“I look at it as very positive,” Lee says. “It turned out OK … but I always feel better knowing we got ahead of [the deadline]. If the ball had broken in the other direction, this could have turned out very differently.”
How Permanent Is Permanent?
Now, however, planners worry that clients who did nothing last year will be lulled into a false sense of security, letting inertia keep them from getting their estates in order.
The description of many exemptions as “permanent” is a misleading characterization, planners think.
“I think that [the bill] is going to cause many wealthy people to do nothing for a while, because they are going to fall into the trap of not understanding what ‘permanent’ really means,”
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