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As of 2014, the federal estate tax exemption, lifetime gift tax exemption, and generation skipping transfer tax exemption per person are $5,340,000. The estate and gift tax rate for estates valued over this amount is 40%. The generation skipping transfer tax is also 40%. These unified exemptions will continue to be indexed for inflation in later years. There is now "portability" of the federal estate tax exemption between married couples. A married couple can share their exemption. Note, however, that even if the deceased spouse's estate will not be taxable (in other words, is valued less than $5.34 million), the surviving spouse will nonetheless be required to file IRS Form 706, United States United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, in order to take advantage of the deceased spouse's unused estate tax exemption, otherwise the deceased spouse's exemption will be lost. Special planning will be required for generation skipping trusts. While the estate tax exemption has been made portable between married couples, the generation skipping transfer tax exemption has not. This means that in order for married couples to take advantage of both spouses' generation skipping transfer tax exemptions, special planning will be required in married couples' estate planning documents.




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