In 2001, President Bush's tax cuts increased the amount of your estate that is exempt from federal estate taxes to an even $1 million. As part of that law, the estate-tax exemption level will jump again, this time to $1.5 million, starting Jan. 1, 2004.
With Jan. 1 approaching, you need to once again adjust your estate plan to reflect the higher exemption level. The first three pages of this issue provide strategies to help you take full advantage of the new law. It lays out different strategies for people with medium-size estates, larger estates and valuable homes. Read on, then meet with your estate-planning professional.
Own medium-size estate? Avoid 'overfunding' your bypass trust
Married couples with combined estates worth more than $1 million should typically use "bypass trust" language in their wills. The new law doesn't change that strategy but raises the new minimum threshold to $1.5 million startin...(register to read more)