Analysts are projecting that the IRS will increase the Federal estate tax exemption for 2018, as well as boost the annual gift tax exemption, according to Forbes in "Estate Tax Exemption To Top $11 Million Per Couple in 2018."
Analysts forecast the Federal estate tax exemption for a single person to be $5.6 million in 2018, and the gift tax annual exclusion is estimated to become $15,000 per recipient. While most people who might be affected by this exemption increase would prefer to see the estate tax repealed entirely, that is increasingly looking like it will not happen this year.
But even if the Federal estate tax is repealed, estate planning will still be vital and necessary. “Estate planning” is not just for the uber-wealthy (or even just for the moderately wealthy). Everyone needs some level of estate planning. Federal gift and estate taxes are not, and never have been, the only (or even the main) reasons why everyone should engage in some degree of estate planning. Comprehensive estate planning consists not only of tax planning, but also of planning for the many non-tax related and personal issues that may arise in any situation (regardless of a person’s wealth). Despite the fact that less people may now need to be directly concerned about Federal transfer taxes, the need for professional estate planning and professional estate/trust administration services will always remain vital and necessary.
An experienced estate planning attorney can answer any questions you have on the estate tax and gift tax exemptions, as well as advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.
Reference: Forbes (Sep. 15, 2017) "Estate Tax Exemption To Top $11 Million Per Couple in 2018."