Federal Estate Tax Planning

The Federal Estate Tax is a tax assessed based on the value of your assets on the date of your death (or six months later if less), including the proceeds of life insurance you own, plus to some extent the value of gifts made during your lifetime. Each individual has an estate tax exemption which is the amount of assets which pass tax free to your beneficiaries. If you are married, and if you were to leave all of your assets to your spouse, your exemption would be wasted. There are various estate and gift planning techniques that can be put in place to ensure that that your estate tax exemption is fully utilized and that your assets pass to your beneficiaries in the most tax efficient manner.