Foggy future — Estate tax law uncertainties call for flexibility
Abstract: Unless Congress acts before year end, significant changes will take place on Jan. 1, 2013: The current $5.12 million gift and estate tax exemption will drop to $1 million, and the top rate of 35% will increase to 55%. These uncertainties call for estate plan flexibility. This article illustrates a variety of ways to do so, including making large gifts, having beneficiaries use qualified disclaimers, or setting up a credit shelter trust. A sidebar discusses two other trusts: a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) and the charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT).