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Are you exempt from federal estate taxes in 2019?

With the new year, there is no better time to look over your estate plan. Each year, it's a smart move to do this, since new laws, especially tax laws, could impact your estate.

In 2019, the federal exemption for an estate is $11.4 million per person, which is up from the previous $11.18 million in 2018. This is also a dramatic increase from 2017 when the maximum exemption was only $5.49 million per person. Now, if you have assets in the amount of $11.4 million or less, you won't have to pay federal estate taxes.

Since you're living with Florida as your primary residence, there is great news about state estate taxes; Florida does not tax estates or inheritances. This exempts all of your assets, which is ideal for families and one reason why so many people do move to Florida at retirement age. Even if there is a threat of state taxation in other states, there are ways to address that.

Even though there may not be any risk of taxation presently, the rule of thumb for estates is not to become complacent. It's a good idea to look over your estate at least annually so that you know it's still within the confines of the law and that it will stand in court.

Our website has more information about estate planning and how you can get started if you haven't yet created a will, power of attorney or other essential legal documents. It's never too soon, or too late, to start your estate planning or to update your estate plan to make sure it's still prepared to carry out and protect your wishes.

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Lewis & Monroe, PLLC

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