Changes in Tax Laws Means it’s Time to Review Your Estate Plan


Recent changes in the federal tax law, uncertainty in regards to the law beyond 2009, and the economically volatile times in which we live means it is more important than ever to review your estate plan.

A significant consideration in estate planning is the impact estate tax laws will have on your estate plan. The federal estate tax exemption (the amount that can pass free of estate tax) has increased significantly over the past ten years and continues to be in a state of flux. The federal exemption amount is currently $3.5 million per person, but it is scheduled to return to $1.0 million in 2011 (after a year of no estate tax in 2010). However, legislation has been introduced in Congress that would extend the $3.5 million exemption beyond 2009. Furthermore, the New York exemption amount is only $1.0 million and there is no indication that it will change any time in the near future. The gap of $2.5 million between the New York exemption amount and the federal exemption amount means that the difference between the two may be subject to New York State estate tax.

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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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