ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura

Happy New Year! The following is a 2019 update on important numbers used in estate planning and Medicaid planning in Hawai‘i.

How much money and property can a person have at death without paying estate taxes? At the end of 2017, Congress passed a new tax bill which the president signed into law. It doubled the previous estate and gift tax exemption from $5 million to $10 million (adjusted for inflation). Taking into account inflation, the actual amount exempt from federal estate tax for 2019 is $11,400,000 per person. This “doubling” of the estate tax exemption will expire at the end of 2025, so unless Congress acts to make it permanent, the estate tax exemption will go back to the $5 million per person exemption (adjusted for inflation) in 2026.

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