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Katie Lynagh

Trusts and estates practitioners are well accustomed to responding to new developments in the law, and 2018 was no exception. The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, introduced major changes to the federal lifetime estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes, as well as the income taxation of individuals, partnerships, and corporations. For trusts and estates practitioners, perhaps the most significant change is that the legislation doubled the federal lifetime estate, gift, and GST tax exemptions, which are inflation-adjusted, from $5.49 million in 2017 to $11.18 million in 2018. The federal lifetime exemption for 2019 is $11.4 million per person. On Jan. 1, 2026, the exemption will revert to the prior level of $5 million per person, adjusted for inflation since 2010.

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