TAX TALK: Simplified Method for Determining Potential Estate Tax Exposure

Author: Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M

While not exact, here is a simplified way to project your potential estate tax exposure.

  • Determine the value of your assets, net of any debts.
  • Subtract any assets that will pass to charity on your death.
  • If you’re married and your spouse is a U.S. citizen, subtract any assets you’ll pass to him or her. Those assets qualify for the marital deduction and avoid potential estate tax exposure until the surviving spouse dies.
  • The net number represents your taxable estate.

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