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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is it true that my estate will pay no estate tax if my estate is worth less than $1 Million?

Answer: Generally speaking, yes.

The law currently provides that individuals who die in 2004 with a taxable estate less than $1.5 million will be exempt from federal estate taxes. That exemption amount will increase to $2 million in 2006 and $3.5 million in 2009, and will be repealed for 2010. However, the law is drafted in such a way that the estate tax will come back into effect in 2011 unless new legislation is signed into law before then. The exemption amount is reduced if a decedent made gifts during his or her lifetime that exceeded the annual exclusion amount. It is important to note that individuals who are domiciled in New York State will be subject to New York State estate tax if their taxable estate exceeds $1 million.

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