New tax law doubles estate and gift tax exemption

By Joseph L. Raad
Attorney at Law

The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which became effective Jan. 1, doubled the estate and gift tax exemption. This means fewer estates will even be subject to an estate or gift tax, and those that are taxed will pay less.

For 2018, the exemption amount is $11.2 million per person. For a married couple, this means a combined exemption of $22.4 million with portability elected. The exemption will be adjusted for inflation each year.

The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax, designed to capture tax on transfers to successive generations, is not specifically mentioned in the new law. But, since the GST exemption amount is based on the basic exclusion amount, such transfers will also benefit from the increased exemption.

These changes may affect your estate. You should have your plan and related documents reviewed by an estate-planning attorney to see whether changes are warranted.

Joseph L. Raad is Senior Counsel with Morton & Gettys Law Firm in Rock Hill, S.C. He is a certified specialist in estate planning and probate law. He can be reached at (803) 366-3429 or

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