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2023 Tax Planning Guide

Estate Taxes

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If you haven’t discussed estate planning opportunities with your legal, tax and financial professionals yet, why not use this time to schedule a meeting? Even with more generous federal estate tax exemptions, taxpayers need to be aware of local estate and inheritance taxes. Although some states have repealed their estate tax statutes and others increased their exemptions recently, a few still have the tax. A handful of states also have an inheritance tax.

In 2023, the estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax basic exclusion amount rose to $12.92 million, up from $12.06 million, for estates of decedents who died in 2022. Married couples filing jointly qualify for a $25.84 million exemption in 2023, up from $24.12 million in 2022.

While federal estate tax exemptions are more generous than in the past, be aware that some states levy their own estate and inheritance taxes.

If part or all of one spouse's estate tax exemptioin is unused at that spouse's death, the estate can elect to permit the surviving spouse to use the deceased spouse's remaining exemption. This exemption portability provides flexibility at the first spouse's death, but has some limits. While a portability-only estate tax return can be filed up to two years from the deceased spouse's death, it can be costly. Be aware that portability is available only from the most recently deceased spouse. It doesn't apply to the Generation Skipping Tax (GST) exemption and isn't recognized by many states.


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