What's New For 2016?

Welcome to 2016!  If getting your estate plan in order is one of your resolutions for the new year, take a look at this quick list of changes to 2016 estate planning law compiled by financial services company The Motley Fool.  Even if you already have an estate plan in place, it is helpful to understand how these changes could impact your estate plan. 

  1. The lifetime exclusion amount, or the amount of assets an individual may pass free of tax during life or after death, increases to $5.45 million in 2016.
     
  2. Individuals may give gifts of up to $14,000 to any number of individuals this year before the lifetime exclusion amount even comes into play.
     
  3. The federal tax rate for taxable estate assets is 40% this year.
     
  4. The lifetime exclusion amount is still portable, meaning spouses can utilize any unused portion of a deceased spouse's lifetime exclusion amount if the proper election is made.  As such, married couples can take advantage of a $10.9 million lifetime exclusion amount this year.
     
  5. Both Indiana and Ohio have done away with estate taxes, so state level estate taxes are not a concern for Indiana and Ohio residents this year.

Here's to a safe and happy 2016!