How to make the most of higher exclusions, and a popular portability provision
I’ll do it tomorrow. How common is that reaction to the mere mention of estate planning? But, there are good reasons to get down to it, even if your wealth currently falls below the federal estate and gift tax exclusion amounts.
The lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion, which allows you to pass money to heirs, other than your spouse, free of federal estate or gift taxes, is $5.45 million in 2016. There is also an unlimited marital deduction, which allows you to leave an unlimited amount to your spouse’s estate, tax free.1 So, when you leave money to your spouse, you are not using up any of your exclusion amount.
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