Federal estate taxes took a big slide on Jan. 1, 2004, making state death taxes a more important consideration of Estate Planning for many people.
The amount exempt from the federal estate tax jumped to $1.5 million for 2004 and 2005, up from $1 million in 2003. In addition, the top estate tax rate dropped to 48% from 49%. The next decline will be in 2006, when the exemption becomes $2 million. The tax rate will drop 1% in each of the next three years.
These estate tax changes should trigger several actions:
Other details for revising your will and estate planning to comply with current law are in the Estate Watch section of the web site Archive.