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Estate tax and the year of 2015

Many residents of Pennsylvania may benefit from knowing that the Internal Revenue Service has set new rules that guide how estate taxes work and how estate holders will need to file any exemptions. Since the year of 2011, the federal estate tax exemption has increased steadily with the signaling of inflation.

The estate tax specifically deals with the transfer of estate values that were in possession of persons now dead; these particular tax requirements are recognized as 'the death tax." Estate values may be diversified as life insurance, trusts and approved financial accounts.

The estate tax exemption of $5 million in 2011 reportedly increased about $400,000 for 2015. This is a total jump of $90,000 from 2014. This federal estate tax is only charged for estate holders who exceed the amount specifically gauged by the IRS. Therefore, numerical values that reach beyond $5.43 million will be charged accordingly.

From these fees, the U.S. government collected roughly $12.7 billion in 2014. The set parameters to manage taxes when transferring an estate can be done through gifts and certain clauses set forth for married individuals.

In the giving of gifts, estate holders are legally protected when giving up to $14,000 as property or direct cash in 2015, and this exclusion is always set to change with inflation levels. As for clauses dealing with married couples and their spouses, most individuals' strategies leave all values to a surviving spouse by doubling the total estate tax exclusion in 2015. Estate tax planning is important for families and any survivor of a previous estate holder. Finding a lawyer is therefore as important to manage legal parameters and the transfer of an estate.

Source: The Motley Fool, "Estate Tax in 2015: 4 Rules You Should Know", Dan Caplinger , December 28, 2014

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