December 24, 2010
Taxation, Wealth Management: Estate Planning, Trust Administration & Succession Planning Alerts

Estate and Gift Tax Alert for 2011 & 2012
by Bridget McInerney Harris

On Dec. 17, 2010, the "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010" was signed into law. For calendar years 2011 and 2012 the exemption amount for gift, estate and GST will be increased to $5 million per person and $10 million per couple. The top tax rate for gifts, estates and GST will be 35% for 2011 and 2012. The exemption is "portable"; meaning the executor of a deceased spouse may utilize any unused exemption of the deceased spouse to shelter assets of the surviving spouse. The gift tax rate for 2010 remains at 35%. Special rules apply for estates of decedents who died in 2010. The changes for the next two years provide many opportunities for family wealth transfers. At the same time these changes require critical review of existing estate plans that include formula exemption clauses.
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