As many estate planners anticipated, the Internal Revenue Service has raised the limit on tax-free transfers during life or at death. Starting in 2014 that amount, known as the basic exclusion, will go up to $5.34 million per person, from $5.25 million this year.

Did you know 2013 is rapidly coming to a close? It is. While there is still much to enjoy, especially in terms of holidays, it is not too early to think about your financial and estate plans for 2014.

Surprise! The IRS is already looking forward to 2014, to include the estate and gift tax exemption.

So what will estate and gift planning be like in 2014? Fortunately, as noted in a recent Forbesarticle, the number will be a bit more generous. According to the article, titled “IRS Raises Limit On Tax-Free Lifetime Gifts,” the basic exclusion (or unified exclusion), has been $5.25 million for 2013, but it is set to shimmy up to $5.34 million for 2014. Remember, this is the amount an individual can transfer to their loved ones without fear of taxation, either in life as a gift free from gift tax or in death as a bequest free from estate tax.

Unfortunately, the basic/unified exclusion increase does not mean an increase to the annual gift exclusion. That is the amount you can gift per year to an individual without affecting the basic/unified exclusion. Currently you can give $14,000 per person per year, and it will be no different in 2014.

Again, with time still remaining on the 2013 clock, there is still time to maximize your gifting before the year ends. That noted, check out a companion article titled “The 2013 Limits On Tax-Free Gifts: What You Need To Know.

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