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Federal gift tax exemption and estate planning

Estate planning for a Texas resident needs to be a comprehensive endeavor. This includes potentially taking advantage of instruments like a last will and testament or a trust agreement. The process of comprehensive estate planning may also include preparing a living will and durable power of attorney for health care. A Texan embarking on estate planning may also want to consider how the annual gift tax exclusion may be helpful.

Basics of the annual gift tax exemption

In Texas, and across the United States, the federal gift tax exemption allows an individual to gift money to another person up to $15,000 annually with no tax implications as part of estate planning. A married couple can convey a gift of up to $30,000 annually to another individual. There is a lifetime cap of what can be gifted to a specific individual, an amount that “clocks in” at over $1 million.

Estate planning and gift transfers

By taking advantage of the federal tax gift exemption, a person or married couple can make asset transfers during the course of their lives to others without tax implications. These types of transfers also bypass the probate process in the future. In other words, taking advantage of the gift tax exemption can save time and money.

A person who is interested in creating a comprehensive estate plan that includes taking advantage of the federal gift tax exemption is best served by engaging the services of an experienced Texas estate planning attorney. A lawyer typically doesn’t charge a fee for an initial consultation for a prospective client who is interested in developing a comprehensive estate plan, including one that includes taking advantage of the federal gift tax exemption.

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