The answer to this question depends on the value of your estate at the time of your death. As of July 2022, the federal estate and gift tax exemption amount is $12.06 million, indexed for inflation. For married couples, the amount doubles to $24.12 million. This is the highest the exclusion has ever been in the United States. What’s more, recent changes in the federal tax code now allow for “portability” between spouses. This means that a surviving spouse can receive any unused exemption amount from their deceased partner. Significant to understand is that these exemption amounts are scheduled to sunset in 2026, at which time they will drop down to approximately $6.4 million for an individual and $12.8 million for a couple, both indexed for inflation.
If you anticipate your estate will exceed these exemption thresholds, I highly recommend seeking counsel from a specialized estate planning attorney. There are ways to manage your estate planning which can help minimize the tax burden and control which assets are liquidated for payment.
Important to keep in mind for everyone, however, is that both federal and state tax laws change. Therefore it can be very helpful to ensure that your estate plan includes language and provisions that are capable of adapting to various contingencies and shifting tax contexts. Contact us, and let’s discuss how a specialized estate attorney can help ensure your estate planning includes these adaptations.