Estate Planning Update

January, 2019

  1. 2019 Annual Gift Tax Exclusion: remains at $15,000 per donor, per donee.
  2. 2019 Gift and Estate Tax Exclusion: $11,400,000 per donor through 2025, see #6 below.
  3. Marital Deduction for Transfers to U.S. Spouse: unlimited.
  4. 2019 Generation Skipping Tax Exclusion: $11,400,000 per donor through 2025, see #6 below.
  5. Top rate for Federal Estate, Gift and Generation Skipping Taxes: 40%.
  6. National Topics: More good news on the estate tax front. In November, the IRS issued proposed regulations allowing estates to use the higher of the exclusion applicable at the time of gifts made during life or the exclusion on the date of death. In essence, eliminating the concern that estates of persons making gifts between 2018-2025 will be subject to estate taxes when the law sunsets.  Remember, for estates of decedents dying and gifts made in 2018 and on or before December 31, 2025, the Act doubles the base estate and gift tax exclusion amount from $5 million to $10 million, which when indexed for inflation means an individual can shelter $11,400,000, and a married couple $22,800,000, from estate and gift taxes.  For larger estates, it is time to make lifetime gifts.
  7. Arizona Topics: Arizona passed two noteworthy new laws that become effective this year. First, the new LLC act takes effect September 1, 2019 for all new entities and September 1, 2020 for existing entities. The new law modifies or creates statutory rights regarding information, transferee rights, causes of dissolution, derivative actions and the fiduciary duties of loyalty and care. In certain circumstances, you may want to modify these rights before the law becomes effective.  Second, Arizona’s new law validating electronic wills becomes effective June 30, 2019.  Videotaping the signing and third party storage of the electronic document are going to be hurdles to widespread implementation, so we do not recommend that anyone rely on it in the near future.
  8. Estate Planning Opportunities: Anyone planning on making large gifts in the next ten years should consider accelerating those plans. Market and political volatility may take away the planning opportunity that exists today. This is especially true for estates of married couples with assets between $10,000,000 and $24,000,000.  Call and schedule an appointment if you want to discuss your alternatives.
  9. Business Planning Opportunities: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed in December of 2017 reduced the income tax rate on corporations and pass through entities. The Act, coupled with an increase in business activity in Arizona, has created opportunities to modify your corporate structure to minimize income and estate taxes depending on your strategic plan, financial condition and objectives.  Read more at or schedule an appointment to review your corporate structure today.
  10. Quinn News: We continued to grow in 2018 and 2019 is starting out great despite the stock market volatility. Thanks for your referrals and online reviews.  This year Quinn is scheduled to speak on estate planning in February and has written an article on certain aspects of the new LLC Act which is scheduled to be published this spring.