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The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) was passed by the United States Congress on January 1, 2013, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama the next day. As it relates to Estate, Gift and GST tax, the $5 million dollar exemption for individual estates ($10 million for couples) remains in place. Note that indexed for inflation, the $5 million dollar exemption is currently $5,250,000. Estates would be taxed at a top rate of 40% (up from 35%). In addition, the exemption amount (for gift, estate and GST taxes) remains unified and is permanently extended after 12/31/12. Portability of the unused credit is also made permanent.

This new law will certainly be something that individuals will want to consider in their Estate Plan and as such will want to visit with their financial, accounting and legal professionals to determine whether any revisions to their planning is necessary in light of this new law.