R. Blair Norman

Graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.B.A. in Finance in 1988. Blair received his J.D. with Honors from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1994. He has practiced law in Fort Worth since 1994 and became board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in estate planning and probate in 1999. Blair is an instructor at Texas Christian University, teaching Estate Planning courses in the Extended Education Department.

Texas Board of Legal Specialization Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Board Certified Attorney

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.