Time to Check Your Will and Consider Expanded Gift Opportunities


Changes in the estate and gift tax laws contained in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “Law”) have given us much to consider. For 2011 and 2012 there is a unified $5,000,000 estate, gift and generation skipping tax exemption amount, and a maximum estate and gift tax rate of 35%, plus the new concept of “portability,” whereby a surviving spouse is permitted to take advantage of the unused estate tax exemption of his or her predeceased spouse.

This is good news for those wishing to gift significant assets, but the Law can also have negative consequences under certain common will language. Those who do not review their wills to determine the Law’s effect on them can find themselves with (1) a significant state estate tax bill, and (2) inadequate provision for the surviving spouse.

Partners Richard Kay, Tracy Green Landauer and Eric Woldenberg and Associate Alan Laufer, all members of Pryor Cashman's Tax and Trusts & Estates Groups, have authored an informative Legal Update on these critical issues, entitled “Time to Check Your Will and Consider Expanded Gift Opportunities”.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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