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Planning for the Sunset of the Estate Tax Exclusion

Making Lifetime Gifts, Relying on Portability, Implementing Tried and True Strategies

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Friday, January 26, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This webinar will address key considerations trust and estate advisers should consider ahead of the sunset of the estate tax exemption in 2026. Our panel of estate planning and administration experts will provide concrete examples of estate planning strategies to circumvent and reduce transfer taxes for taxpayers whose estate is above the current estate tax threshold as well as for those whose assets will likely exceed the future estate tax threshold.


For 2024 the estate tax exemption increases to an astounding $13,610,000 per person. Married couples can exclude twice this amount. Lurking behind this extraordinarily high threshold is that, absent congressional intervention, this record-high amount will revert to $5,490,000, to be indexed for inflation, in 2026. Most clients and taxpayers will survive beyond 2026, which makes planning for the impending sunset crucial.

Experts believe that, indexed for inflation, the new exemption could be about $6.8 million, roughly half of the current exclusion. Many tax advisers and taxpayers have scurried to gift away amounts exceeding about $7 million in order to preserve the tax benefits of amounts gifted above this foreseen reduced threshold. However, this use-it or lose-it strategy is not advisable or practical for every estate and could jeopardize some taxpayers' ability to live out their lives comfortably.

There is an unwarranted presumption that portability eliminates the current need for estate planning for married couples. Although the estate exemption can be ported, a decedent cannot port his GST exemption. Many tried and true techniques exist that advisers can implement that will eliminate or reduce transfer taxes and provide the needed flexibility to survive constantly changing legislation.

Listen as our panel of trust and estate veterans recommends steps taxpayers should take to mitigate estate taxes and how these strategies can vary significantly based on the amount of assets projected to be held at death.



  1. Estate tax exclusion
  2. Sunset and exclusion adjustments
  3. Use it or lose it
  4. Weighing the economic sense of gifting
  5. Portability planning
  6. Basis step-up
  7. Start with the basics
  8. Hypothetical scenarios and examples


The webinar will address these and other critical issues:

  • How estates can benefit from traditional estate planning techniques considering the impending sunset
  • When clients should not rely on portability as an estate planning technique
  • Which estates benefit from significant and immediate gifting?
  • What should taxpayers not do in light of the reversion of the estate tax exemption in 2026?
  • How spouses can coordinate their estate plans to circumvent transfer taxes


Bridgers, Griffin
Griffin H. Bridgers

Hutchins & Associates

Mr. Bridgers' practice encompasses all areas of private wealth and family business. In addition to estate...  |  Read More

Sawyer, Ashley
Ashley B. Sawyer

Loeb & Loeb

Ms. Sawyer focuses her practice on tax-efficient planning with an emphasis on each client’s personal, non-tax...  |  Read More

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