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Paul E. Riffel Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

Estate Planning Tips Single Floridians Need When They Near the Proposed Tax Limits


Did you know that the state of Florida does not impose an estate or inheritance tax? This is great news, but some residents may have to remain mindful of the federal estate tax limits. While the current exemptions are high enough that very few Americans need to be concerned, at a federal exclusion of $11.7 million per individual person or $23.4 million for a married couple, these limits could change in the near future. A bill introduced to Congress just a couple of months ago proposes that the individual estate tax exemption be lowered to $3.5 million per person or $7 million for a married couple. Floridians serious about estate planning may be wondering how to approach these potential changes. So much advice seems directed toward married couples. Let us review a couple of tips that may make a difference for single Floridians and married couples alike when they near the proposed estate tax limits.

It might be a good idea to make gifts to friends and family now. Currently, there is a $15,000 annual gift exclusion per person, per recipient. This means that any individual can gift any other individual up to $15,000 per year without either the giver or the giftee incurring any gift or estate tax. For a married couple, the exclusion is $30,000 for the couple. The proposed tax changes in the March 2021 bill would make the exclusion $20,000 per individual giver and recipient per year. Whether it stays at the current rate or moves slightly up or down, making gifts during your lifetime can be a great way to ensure that you stay below the threshold estate size to have any federal estate tax imposed. Remember, the rules allow you to give this amount to each recipient, so if you are single but you have two children and four grandchildren, you can give each of them the excludable amount!

It may also be worthwhile to explore irrevocable trust options. Some popular irrevocable trusts are directed toward married couples. There are, however, plenty of options that also make sense for single folk looking to preserve their assets for children, nieces or nephews, or dear friends to make use of down the road. For example, an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is a way to shield your life insurance proceeds from estate tax, and you can set it up so that the proceeds go directly to the heirs you choose. There is no limit on the amount, whether you are married or single. 

Do you have more questions about how you can plan for proposed estate tax changes? Our office is here to help. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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