A dramatic decrease in the federal estate tax has occurred over the last two decades. In 2001, the exemption was just $675,000; in 2020 it is $11,580,000.
However, at least some of that progress is likely to be lost going forward. Beginning in 2026, assuming no tax law changes, the exemption will be half of what it was in 2025. In other words, it will take an act of Congress to avoid the automatic sunset of the current high exemptions.
Federal debt is at an all-time high and continued deficit spending looks likely to continue at least through the remainder of 2020 as Congress tries to deal with the pandemic. A change in the presidency could bring about major tax policy changes. If so, it is reasonable to assume the estate tax will be viewed as one potential source of increased federal revenue.
Our calculator can show the impact these potential options have on your high net worth clients. View it or download it here.
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By Steven Gates, CLU | Senior Advanced Markets Consultant | Ash Brokerage