Unless Congress acts, regulations that elevated death tax exemptions will expire at the end of 2025, and the exemption will be cut by about half, according to the article “Take Advantage Of Increased Gift And Estate Tax Exclusions in 2024” from mondaq.
Those whom the gift and estate tax may impact should speak with their estate planning attorney about using this historically high exemption. Many estate planning strategies can be used to transfer wealth and take advantage of these exemptions efficiently.
In November 2023, the IRS announced increases for gift and estate tax exemptions in 2024, including an increase in the federal gift, estate, and GST (Generation Skipping Tax) exemption and the annual exclusion from gift tax. These changes became effective on January 1, 2024.
The gift and estate tax exemption has increased to $13,610,000 per individual in 2024. Married couples can transfer up to $27,220,000 since both partners may utilize the exemption. This marks a substantial increase of $690,000 per person ($1,380,000 per married couple) from the prior year.
Generally, gift and estate taxes may be due if a person’s total wealth transfer during their lifetime and at their death exceeds the gift and estate tax exemption.
The GST tax exemption increased to $13,610,000 per person in 2024. This tax may be triggered by transfers to or in trust for family members more than one generation younger than the donor. It might also be triggered by gifts to unrelated individuals who are 37.5 years younger than the donor.
The annual gift tax exclusion increased to $18,000 per donor, per gift recipient, and $36,000 per married couple splitting gifts. The annual gift tax exclusion permits individuals to make gifts to any amount of people tax-free every year without being counted against their lifetime gift and estate tax exemption.
An experienced estate planning attorney will explain the time-sensitive opportunities presented by the increases in 2024 in conjunction with the current (yet temporary) exemptions.
Now is the time to consider funding trusts with assets expected to have high growth potential, using a portion of the gift tax exemption while removing future appreciation from the estate.
Reference: mondaq (Dec. 21, 2023) “Take Advantage Of Increased Gift And Estate Tax Exclusions in 2024”