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Internal Revenue Service Announces the Estate Tax Exemption for 2015

The Internal Revenue Service announced on October 30, 2014 that the estate tax exemption, sometimes referred to as the federal estate tax credit, will rise to $5.43 million per individual dying in 2015, up from $5.34 million for individuals dying in 2014.  This inflation adjustment now means that married couples who properly plan can pass nearly $11,000,000 without federal estate tax liability.  This exemption/credit continues to apply to lifetime gifts, estates and generation skipping transfers.

Individuals need to keep in mind that the exemption is tied to inflation and will, under current law, continue to increase.  Therefore, not only are most estates going to avoid federal estate tax liability, but also, there are terrific opportunities to make lifetime gifts without federal gift tax liability.

The inflation adjustment did not carry over to the annual gift tax exclusion amount which remains at $14,000 a year for 2015, the same as in 2014.  While you are turning your clocks back and remembering to change the batteries in the smoke alarms, this is a good time of year to check that your estate planning documents are up to date and in order.

For information on estate planning, contact members of the Timoney Knox estate planning group, George M. Riter, Esquire, Michael O’Hara Peale, Jr., Esquire, John J. McAneney, Esquire, Thomas A. Boulden, Esquire, Karen S. Dayno, Esquire and Kevin D. Birkhead, Esquire.

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