"President Signs New Bill Permanently Unifying the Federal Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Tax Exemptions at $5,250,000 and Increasing All Transfer Tax Rates to 40%"

On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, unifying the exemption amounts for estate, gift and generation- skipping transfer ("GST") taxes at $5,250,000 and increasing the estate, gift and GST tax rates to 40%. This legislation marks the end of another year of tremendous uncertainty for individuals planning their estates due to the expiration of the 2010 tax law at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2012 and the threatened reinstatement of the 55% estate, gift and GST rate with a $1,000,000 estate and gift tax exemption. For the first time in over a decade there is permanent estate tax legislation.