The Obama administration's first budget appears to contain several important clues as to the fate of the federal estate tax.  It appears that the administration will seek a freeze at the exclusion amount of $3.5 million dollars.  This means that couples with assets and insurance of 3.5 million dollars or less could avoid more complicated estate planning and could focus on protecting assets for the surviving spouse, children and grandchildren without allocating assets to federal esatte tax planning. 

There is a possibility, that a bill might pass that would allow couples to use both spouses exemption amounts and this could shelter up to $7 million dollars.   However, there is significant opposition to this.  For a slide show on the current law and the possible future.  Visit this site and watch the slide show.

David M. Frees III, Esquire

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