Around this time every year, the IRS looks at whether there has been a year-over-year increase in the Consumer Price Index and announces inflation adjustments to the federal gift and estate tax exclusion amounts for the following calendar year. In general, these exclusion amounts tell a U.S. citizen or resident how much he or she can give away without incurring gift and/or estate tax on the transfer. Individuals and couples make use of these amounts, both during lifetime and at death, to transfer wealth to family and friends on a tax-free basis. When the amounts go up, it presents an opportunity to increase the tax-free giving. Given that inflation has been relatively sluggish, will any of these exclusion amounts be higher in 2017 than they are currently? According to the announcement just released by the IRS, the answer is “yes” for some but not all.
No two families are exactly alike, but all family members share common opportunities and challenges as they seek to take care of each other and leave a lasting legacy the next generation can build on. In this blog, the experienced attorneys in Nutter's Trusts and Estates and Nonprofit and Social Impact Advisors groups offer news and insights for individuals, couples and multi-generational families who are looking to convey wealth (and its responsibilities) to children and grandchildren, make a philanthropic impact in the community and prepare for the life events we all can face.