With all the discussion about the “fiscal cliff” it would be easy to miss the fact that Congress did finally do something certain about federal estate tax law. The exclusion amount is now permanently set at $5 million per person or $10 million per couple. It is indexed for inflation so that the 2013 exclusion amount is $5.25 million. The top tax rate has been raised from 35% to 40%. The annual gift exclusion for 2013 is $14,000. The best news is that, with the rate being permanent and significantly high, most families can now plan their estates without regard to tax planning. In other words, they can do what’s best for the family, not what’s needed to avoid taxes. That should make for more simplified documents, an easier to understand plan, and lower costs for preparation. If you’ve been putting off revising your Will, now is the right time to complete that task with confidence. Give us a call.