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  • Writer's pictureRandall Fisher

Planning with the $5 Million Gift Tax Exemption

Much of the information from this post has been reproduced in greater detail in an updated blog series, Estate Taxmageddon: Preparing for the 2013 Increases to the Estate, Gift, and GST Taxes.

It’s no secret that I am a member of Wealth Counsel — a national network of estate planning attorneys. It gives me the opportunity to associate with the best and the brightest. Through that association, we publish a couple of newsletters for clients and professionals interested in estate planning for themselves or for their clients.

In the last issue of The Wealth Counselor, we took a closer look at the new tax law in effect for 2011 and 2012, examining some of the opportunities and challenges that face estate planning professionals as we incorporate these changes and uncertainties into our client’s estate plans. In this issue, we  look more closely at the powerful planning opportunities that exist for the next two years with the $5 million gift tax exemption.

This newsletter starts with a quick review of the new law. As a reminder, here are the changes (as the GEICO people say in there commercial, in case you were living under a rock.)

Gift, Estate and GST Exemptions and Tax Rates In 2011 and 2012, the gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions are all $5 million and the tax rate is 35%. If Congress does not act again, in 2013 the exemption will be $1 million and the top tax rate will be 55%. This is the current law and must be considered in all planning. The portability of the gift and estate tax exemption between spouses was also introduced, but only for spouses who both die between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2012.

This newsletter is written for professionals and not the general public (that is code for a little more technical; there’s nothing secretive in it.) If you would like a copy mailed to you, please send us an email at or leave us a comment here. We aren’t secluding the non-professionals. I am just giving you the typical lawyer’s disclaimer. Otherwise, good luck and good hunting.

——————————————————————— The Fisher Law Office provides Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Wealth Planning, Business Law, Succession Planning, Asset Protection and Security Clearance advice to businesses and individuals in Annapolis, Arnold, Pasadena, Bowie, Glen Burnie, Severna Park, Edgewater, Baltimore, Columbia, Stevensville, Chestertown, Dunkirk, St. Mary’s City, Washington, D.C., BWI Airport, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne County, Harford County, Talbot County Calvert County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City. We can be reached by email at or on the web at

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