Year end estate planning guide from Accounting Today.
Current estate planning rules are advantageous to protecting assets and transferring wealth with less tax. In fact, 2012 has been labeled the year of the gift tax, partly because you can gift up to $5,120,000 tax-free this year, and the estate tax exemption is also the same amount. Those exemptions will decrease to $1 million each next year, and this year’s estate tax rate of 35 percent could potentially rise to 55 percent, more in line with historical levels. So if you are in the position to do so, take advantage of the current rules.