Estate Tax Exemptions Update 2018

November 2017

Below is a summary of the federal estate tax, gift tax, and Minnesota estate tax exemption amounts for 2018. Please contact FMJ’s Trusts & Estates group if you have any questions regarding the status of the laws.

Federal Estate Tax Exemption
As of January 1, 2018, the federal estate tax exemption amount will rise to $11.2 million, up from $5.49 million in 2017, and $5.45 million in 2016. The federal estate tax remains at 40%.

Annual Exclusion for Gifts
The annual exclusion amount for gifts in 2018 will increase to $15,000, which is up from $14,000 for gifts in 2017. This means that individuals can gift $15,000 to any person without incurring a gift tax or having to make any required filing. The amount in excess of the $15,000 will simply reduce the federal estate tax exemption available in the year of death. For married couples, this means they could give up $30,000 to each child without having to file any gift tax return.

Minnesota Estate Tax
Upon the passage of the new tax bill (passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and reluctantly signed by Governor Mark Dayton in May 2017), the Minnesota estate tax exemption amount was increased from $1.8 million to $2.1 million per person (retroactive to January 1, 2017), with further increases scheduled in the coming years. Under the new tax bill, the estate tax exemption amount is scheduled to increase to $2.4 million in 2018, $2.7 million in 2019, and then $3.0 million in 2020. However, there is ongoing litigation surrounding this new bill and we believe the status of the Minnesota estate tax exemption is still up in the air.

Next Steps?
Please contact the Trusts & Estates attorneys at FMJ if you have any questions about the 2018 estate tax exemptions or if you would like to discuss your estate planning questions.

About FMJ’s Trusts & Estates Practice
FMJ’s Trust & Estates group can help clients create and implement an estate plan in a time span that fits their needs. We make estate planning simple and affordable. Clients can email us at to have someone from our Trusts & Estates group contact them. We offer complimentary 30-minute initial consultations and flat-fee estate planning to fit every budget.

FMJ’s Trusts & Estates Group consists of David Ness(Shareholder), Karen Schlotthauer (Senior Counsel), and Matthew Jensen (Associate).