Good news on the estate tax planning front: If you did not have any estate tax concerns in 2018, you likely won’t have those in 2019, either. Pursuant to federal tax law, the individual exemption (the unified credit) increases from $11,180,000 in 2018, to $11,400,000 for 2019. Married couples who utilize the portability of the exemption properly can shield $22,800,000 from the federal estate tax while these credit amounts are in effect.
This higher level of the estate tax exemption is not permanent, and is scheduled to expire at the end of 2025. So, in January 2026, the individual exemption will revert back to the 2017 level of $5,490,000, increased based on an index to inflation. For this reason, unless Congress changes the law, we recommend planning for the longer-term instead of the immediate, keeping that lower exemption amount of around $6 million per person in mind that is scheduled to apply again in 2026.
The bottom line is this: Most people simply don’t have a federal estate tax issue under either the higher exemption or the lower one. And we don’t have an estate tax in Georgia, so there are no worries there. But, while taxation may not be an issue, there is still a critical need to make sure your plans are in place to protect your family, and yourself, in the event of your incapacity or death. If you’re an adult in Georgia that does not have in place a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney (executed since July 2017), and an Advance Directive for Healthcare, then you’ve got some risks to address. To see how easy estate planning in Georgia can be, call us and request we send you free information. or go here to request it online.