An Explanation of Unified Gift/Estate Tax
Under Internal Revenue Service regulations the estate tax is unified with the gift tax. Yes, there is
indeed a federal levy that is imposed on gifts that you give to others if they exceed a certain amount.
Every year you can give as much as $13,000 to any number of gift recipients free of the gift tax. The
total sum of these tax-free gifts can equal any amount of money. Since every person is entitled to this
exemption a married couple could pool their individual exemptions and give as much as $26,000 to
any number of others annually without incurring any gift tax responsibility.
Because funding certain types of trusts can be considered taxable acts of gift giving people will
sometimes take advantage of this annual exemption to incrementally fund these vehicles.
Once you give more than $13,000 to any one person during a given year you are utilizing a portion of
your available unified gift/estate tax exclusion.
Next year the estate tax exclusion goes down. It is currently $5.12 million, but it will be just $1 million
in 2013. So if you gave your daughter $113,000 next year using the unified exclusion you would only
have $900,000 left to apply to your estate.
Given the constant changes that we see to the tax code it is a good idea to stay in touch with your
estate planning attorney and be poised to make any adjustments that may be necessary. In light of
these coming changes to the estate tax parameters in 2013 if you have not discussed things with your
lawyer recently you may want to do so within the next couple of months.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Charleston NC of the Kuhn and Kuhn Law Firm offers estate
planning and business planning resources to residents of Charleston, NC. To learn more about these
free resources, please visit www.kuhnandkuhn.com/ today.