Attached is a link to a recently prepared Wealth Planning Alert titled “Taking Advantage of Tax Exemptions Before They May Expire on December 31, 2012.”
The 2010 federal estate and gift tax law provided good news for wealthy taxpayers: a lower maximum tax rate of 35%; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions of $5 million ($10 million for a married couple); and estate and gift tax “exemption portability,” which allows a surviving spouse to increase his or her own lifetime exemption by the exemption a predeceased spouse never used. However, these favorable rules are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, unless Congress chooses to extend them in the same or a modified form. (Congress also has the power to take that action after the end of 2012 and make it retroactive.) At press time for this advisory, no one in the world truly knows what Congress will do before the end of this year, or what the federal estate and gift tax law will look like in 2013 and beyond. This advisory explains what you should do before the end of 2012 if you are worried about possibly having to pay a big estate tax bill if the laws are not as favorable when you pass away as they are for 2012.
The alert is provided in PDF on the Alston & Bird website: www.alston.com/advisories/wealth-planning-tax-exemptions-2012