Governor Enacts Estate Tax Cut

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

On May 15, Governor Martin O’Malley signed a new law that will ease the estate tax burden for thousands of families. Under prior law, estates of decedents owning $1 million or less are exempt from estate tax, and larger estates are taxed on wealth in excess of $1 million (at an initial rate of 16%). Under the new law, that $1 million exemption amount is going to increase in future years, as follows:

Year of DeathExemption Amount
2015$1,500,000
2016$2,000,000
2017$3,000,000
2018$4,000,000
2019[Federal Exemption]

In 2019 and later years, the estate tax exemption will equal the federal estate exemption, which is currently $5,340,000 and increasing for inflation annually.

Most clients of Frankel Sims Law will not need to revise their estate planning documents to take advantage of the new tax cuts. Although the cuts could not have been predicted before January of this year, we have long anticipated such changes and built a degree of flexibility into most clients’ tax plans. If the estate tax exemption will rise above the expected value of your taxable estate at some point over the next four years, we advise you to contact us for a review of your plan before that time arrives.