“New Tax Law Provides Dramatic Estate, Gift and GST Tax Relief”
On December 20, 2017, Congress passed far-reaching changes to the Internal Revenue Code (the “2017 Tax Reform Act”) that provide significant estate planning opportunities to take advantage of a doubling of the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax exemptions. This doubling of the federal estate, gift and GST tax exemptions from $5,490,000 in 2017 to approximately $11,180,000 per person (and to approximately $22,360,000 for a married couple) as of January 1, 2018 creates both (1) a window of opportunity for gifting due to the significant expansion of federal gift and GST tax exemptions and (2) a need to review existing wills and other estate planning documents to ensure that they continue to carry out planning objectives.
There is a “catch” to this legislation, as it “sunsets” its doubling of the federal estate, gift and GST tax exemptions on January 1, 2026, reverting to their pre-2018 exemption levels, as indexed for inflation.
In this Stroock Special Bulletin, we summarize the key provisions of the 2017 Tax Reform Act that pertain to estate, gift and GST taxes and the significant gifting opportunities that are now presented.