Estate Tax Exclusion Adjusted for Inflation

The federal estate tax is controversial, because it is a tax that is imposed on assets that you have left after you paid taxes all of your life. Many people wonder why death should be a taxable event. Whether it is fair or not, the tax is a fact of life, and you should be aware of the estate tax parameters so that you can take steps to gain estate tax efficiency if you are exposed. Estate Tax Parameters The estate tax is not a factor for most people, because there is a credit or exclusion. You can leave unlimited assets to your spouse tax-free (if your spouse is an American citizen) because there is an unlimited marital deduction, but asset transfers to others are potentially taxable. For the 2011 calendar year the estate tax exclusion was set at $5 million via legislative mandate. The figure was adjusted in 2012 to account for inflation. After the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was passed at the very end of that year, the base $5 million exclusion was retained, with ongoing ann


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