Let’s see: the stock market moves like a yo-yo on an hourly basis, the national political climate is as clear as mud, and Maryland has seen an earthquake, a hurricane, and flooding all in the span of a few short weeks. Doesn’t seem like a great time to be thinking about significant estate and gift planning? In fact, a combination of factors makes this the perfect time to consider such planning.
After almost an entire year of uncertainty regarding the estate and gift taxes, Congress finally enacted temporary legislation to reinstate the estate tax. Somewhat surprisingly, Congress also dramatically increased the estate and gift tax exemptions to $5 million. Remember that before the “fix,” the estate tax exemption in 2009 was $3.5 million per person and the gift tax exemption was $1 million per person. As with most of what comes from Congress, however, there are positives and negatives to these adjustments. Read more