2019 Individual Estate and Gift Tax Exemption

The 2019 estate and gift tax exemption is $11.4 million per individual, up from $11.18 million in 2018. What does this mean?  An individual can leave $11.4 million to heirs and pay no federal estate or gift tax while married couples will be able to shield $22.8 million. This shield of $22.8 million is not automatic per married couple.

The unlimited marital deduction allows you to leave all or part of your assets to your surviving spouse free of the federal estate tax. This has not changed. If you wish to later utilize your late spouse’s unused portion of their $11.4 million dollar exemption, called portability, an election is made on the estate tax return of the first spouse to die, even if no tax is due.

2019 Annual Gift Exclusion

The 2019 Annual Gift Exclusion remains at $15,000 per individual. You can give away to as many individuals as you’d like. A husband and wife can EACH make gifts of $15,000 per individual. So for example, a couple could make $15,000 gifts to each of their two grandchildren, for a total of $60,000. Lifetime gifts beyond the annual exclusion each year count towards the $11.4 million combined estate and gift tax mentioned above.

Thank you!

Huth Thompson LLP