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Estate Planning and Gifting

August 13, 2021
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While gifting strategies have long been used to reduce the tax liability of large estates, fewer taxpayers may need to implement this strategy thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. These tax law changes significantly increased the basic exclusion amount for the unified credit for estate and gift taxes. As of 2019, the basic exclusion amount is $11.4 million.1

The unified credit applies to gifts given with a future interest, meaning the gift can’t be used until your death, and it’s included in your unified gift and estate tax credit. The most common example of this is using an irrevocable trust. On the other hand, a present interest gift is one given outright to a person. The amount of a present interest gift is not added into your total lifetime unified gift and estate tax credit. The annual gift tax exclusion for a present interest gift in 2018 is $15,000 per person. Married couples can gift up to $30,000 per recipient this year without any federal gift tax ramifications by using the gift-splitting rules.2

Understanding the tax implications of estate planning, including laws that vary by state, is an important aspect of wealth planning. This is where professional insight may be particularly beneficial. Contact the office today to schedule time to discuss tax and investment management strategies to help optimize your legacy goals.

1 https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/estate-and-gift-tax-faqs
2 https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/whats-new-estate-and-gift-tax

This communication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific legal, tax, or other professional advice. For specific professional assistance, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought.