As many readers in Nevada know, recent discussions in the national government have been contentious as Congress sought to avoid the fiscal cliff. One of the most important issues to those considering planning an estate has been the estate tax that was set to adjust at the start of the new year. As we have discussed before in this column, under the Bush tax cuts the estate tax was set to revert to the 2001 level of a $1 million exemption.
The good news for our readers in Nevada and others across the nation is that after the debates ended, Congress avoided the estate tax reversion. In addition, the fiscal cliff deal that was reached makes the estate tax exemption amount permanent. This is good news for many working to create an estate plan because, for the past decade, there has been confusion surrounding the exact exemption level due to the yearly changes to the laws.
The new permanent law states that the estate tax exemption is $5.12 million per person. This means that if an individual in our state leaves an amount lower than that to their heirs and beneficiaries, the estate tax would not apply. This is good news for many with smaller estates that feared that the $1 million limit may expose their estates to the estate tax after their deaths.
Many in Nevada and elsewhere find that the estate tax laws are confusing or intimidating. If this is the case, an individual may do well to review all options for estate planning that are available. Each estate planning tool can be customized to achieve the desired results for an individual and their estate.
Source: LifeHealthPro.com, “Senate makes estate tax permanent,” Arthur D. Postal, Jan.1, 2013