Estate Planning – Besides Saving Estate Taxes, What Should Be On Your Checklist?

October 29, 2019

The federal estate tax exemption is now $11.4 million per person ($22.8 million/couple), and the New York State estate tax exemption is now $5,740,000 per person. Generally, the exemption amount is the value of assets that you can give to your heirs before any estate or gift tax is due. Note that while New York does not have a gift tax, under current law, it does bring taxable gifts you make within three years of death into your NY taxable estate.

Some may believe that if the value of their assets is under the exemption amounts, there is no need to engage in estate planning. The current federal provisions expire, however, at the end of 2025, when the federal exemption is set to go back to $5 million (indexed for inflation). What New York will do on the estate tax exemption front is a guessing game; not long ago, that exemption amount was only $1 million.

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Reprinted with permission from Lloyd Harbor Life, October 2019.

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