Happy New Year! Here is the 2017 update of important numbers used in estate and Medicaid planning in Hawai‘i.

• How much money and property can a person have at death without having to pay estate taxes?

At the end of 2012, Congress passed a law making the exemption from estate taxes $5 million (adjusted for inflation) with no built-in expiration date. Taking into account inflation, the actual amount exempt from estate tax for 2017 is $5,490,000. The Hawai‘i estate tax law was previously amended to follow the federal estate tax law, so there is also a $5,490,000 exemption from Hawai‘i estate tax. (In other words, if you pass away in 2017 with less than $5,490,000, and you didn’t already use up any of your exemption by making gifts during your life, you will not owe any federal or Hawai‘i state estate tax.)

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