Q. If I give $1 million to my grandkids this year, will I have any estate tax exemption left next year? J.J., Delray Beach, Fla.
A. Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer yet. Absent any new legislation, the unified estate and gift-tax exemption is scheduled to revert to only $1 million, beginning in 2013. Currently, the maximum exemption for each individual is $5.12 million (inflation-indexed from $5 million for 2012).
If the law stands as is, your unified exemption will be exhausted if you use the $1 million gift-tax exemption this year, but you might be protected by a “grandfather provision” allowing another $1 million exemption.
Tip: In any event, it is expected that year-end legislation will resolve this matter, although there are no guarantees.