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Proposed Changes for Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Taxes Introduced in Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Kevin Brady, on November 2, 2017, if enacted in its current form, would make the following changes to the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping tax regimes:

  1. After December 31, 2017, the estate, gift and GST exemptions each increase to $10 million, plus the inflation adjustment applicable under current law. As the previously announced inflation adjustment figure for 2018 is $5.6 million, the new exemption figures starting January 1 would be $11.2 million.
  2. Other than the exemption figures, the estate, gift and GST tax regimes would remain unchanged until 2024.

  3. Effective January 1, 2024:

  • The estate and GST taxes would be repealed;

  • The step-up in basis for assets held at death would be retained; and

  • The gift tax rate would drop from 40 percent to 35 percent.

Please stay tuned for further developments as these provisions may change or be eliminated as the tax legislation moves through Congress.

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About this Author


Richard A. Lang is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office.  Dick joined McDermott after 20 years at another major law firm, where he headed the estate planning practice.