An important part of the legislation enacted at the beginning of the year involved the estate and gift system. Most are aware that Congress retained the per-person estate and gift exemption at $5 million, but raised the rate on the excess from 35% to 40%. But there were more subtle changes that may be even more important.
Indexing for inflation was extended to the estate and gift tax exemptions, now at $5.25 million for 2013. If an individual's net worth is less than the estate exemption, the real question is whether the assets will grow faster than inflation.