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New rules affect estate planning in Nevada

The recent fiscal cliff negotiations in our nation's capital made the headlines in Nevada and across the country. At the end of the ongoing process, Congress enacted the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA). This Act encompasses several laws that may be of interest to readers in our state seeking to begin estate planning.

One of the most important to estate plan development in Nevada is the federal estate tax exemption. Until recently, the amount of the estate tax fluctuated. However, now the amount of $5.25 for an individual is permanent. This may allow many in our state to feel better about the estate planning documents that they have produced in the past.

The new law also allows for portability of the exemption. When a spouse dies and the entire allotted amount for the estate tax exemption is not used, the remainder can be rolled over to the surviving spouse. This means that a surviving spouse could end up with an estate tax exemption as high as $10 million in some cases. There are additional requirements that may be considered when creating an estate plan.

For many in Nevada the estate planning process may seem complicated, particularly with the proliferation of new rules that resulted from the ATRA. When this is the case, it can benefit an individual to seek knowledge regarding all available options. Such information can ensure that the estate planning wishes of an individual can be honored, in addition to potentially saving money for those who are set to inherit from an estate.

Source: Forbes, "A Married Couple's Guide To Estate Planning," Deborah L. Jacobs, Jan. 9, 2013

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