Dedon on Estate Planning: Ringing in the New Year With Good Estate Tax News

By John Dedon

In the estate tax world, 2013 ended in stark contrast to the frantic planning during 2012. 2013 marked a return to fundamental estate planning; namely, using Wills, Revocable Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Medical Directives, to protect the family assets for a surviving spouse and children.

The federal estate law was newsworthy only in what was not done. For the very wealthy, the traditional death tax avoidance tools, such as GRATS and gift/sales to intentionally defective trusts, using discounting and dynasty provisions, remain alive. More good news is that the $5 million exemption amount, which is indexed for inflation, for decedents who die in 2014 is $5,340,000, up from $5,250,000 in 2013. The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2014.

All in all, a positive year for estate planners and their clients.

Read more discussion of estate planning topics affecting Virginia residents and U.S. citizens at Dedon on Estate Planning.

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