The death of a loved one can be a difficult and stressful time. In addition to the many emotions that a Georgia resident may have to cope with, they may also have to deal with their deceased love one’s estate and financial concerns. Depending on the value of the decedent’s estate, their survivors may have to address estate tax implications related to their end-of-life assets.
This post will generally offer information on estate taxes at the federal and state level. No part of this post should be read as legal or financial advice. When a reader has questions about estate taxation, they should always consult with a trusted tax attorney for advice. The laws concerning these matters are changing and from an attorney a reader can get the best and most accurate advice.
Fact #1: The estate tax threshold is at its highest in history
Not many estates are subject to the federal estate tax. Estate taxes are imposed on estates that have values of over $11.7 million for 2021. A gross value of the estate, plus any taxable gifts that were given to others during the decedent’s lifetime, is calculated to determine if their estate exceeds the established threshold.
The annual federal gift threshold has also been climbing over the years. In 2021, a person may give up to $15,000 to another person without having to declare it on their gift tax return. This means that individuals can include in their estate tax planning the giving of gifts to reduce the values of their end-of-life estates.
Fact #2: Georgia does not recognize a state estate tax
Georgia once had a state estate tax. However, that tax has been phased out. In 2014, the state estate tax was phased out for future deaths. That means that individuals must only address the federal estate tax when dealing with estate-based taxation after a death in Georgia.
Fact #3: Filing estate taxes is complicated
While many men and women feel comfortable putting together their own personal income tax documents, few are prepared to handle the filing of federal estate taxes for the deceased loved ones. Computations of decedent’s assets, values of property, and other inventories of wealth must be completed to ensure that accurate and representative information is given to the Internal Revenue Service. Added to these difficulties, the laws of estate taxation change often and individuals may not know where to look for the information they need.