The Federal Estate Tax Exemption for 2021 is $11,700,000.00, an increase of $120,000.00 from 2020. If the Decedent’s taxable estate exceeds this amount, the excess will be taxed at a flat rate of 40%. The exemption for married couples can total $23,400,000.00 because of the “portability” option which can be used at the first death to transfer any unused portion of the deceased spouse’s exemption to the surviving spouse. In 2026, the exemption is scheduled to decrease to $5,490,000.00 with an inflation adjustment. New tax legislation may change the scheduled decrease, possibly lowering the exemption sooner than 2026 or reducing the exemption below $5,490,000.00. In the meantime, the current exemption levels could give you an opportunity to make gifts to utilize some or possibly all of your available exemption before the exemption is decreased. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this or any other estate planning questions or concerns.
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