Here’s what you’ll find in the August 2012 issue of Gunster’s Family Wealth Compass:

2012 only lasts a year: What a difference a day can make

Perhaps you have noticed the myriad of articles and blogs about gift and estate tax changes that could – or will – occur at midnight, December 31, 2012, the tax witching hour.

Current law provides that we will revert to 2001 transfer tax rates and exemption levels on January 1, 2013.

Here is a comparison among the current 2012 and soon-to-be 2013 rates and exemptions:



Gift tax exemption$5,120,000$1,000,000
GST tax exemption$5,120,000$1,000,000*
Estate tax exemption$5,120,000$1,000,000
Gift/GST/estate tax rate



*indexed for inflation

Although there is much speculation and debate, it is uncertain what will occur at the end of 2012. Much will depend on what happens in this year’s election. However, there are prudent actions that can, and should, be taken well before December 2012 by anyone who wants to maximize estate, gift and GST tax savings.

If you do not use the 2012 exemptions before year end, a significant planning opportunity may be lost.

Read more: Family Wealth Compass: Charting a course for your family’s future (August 2012)

This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

Established in 1925, Gunster is one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service law firms. The firm’s clients include international, national and local businesses, institutions, local governments and prominent individuals. Gunster maintains its presence in Florida with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. Gunster is home to more than 165 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, providing counsel to clients through 18 practice groups including banking & financial services; business litigation; construction; corporate; environmental & land use; government affairs; health care; immigration; international; labor & employment; leisure & resorts; private wealth services; probate, trust & guardianship litigation; professional malpractice; real estate; securities and corporate governance; tax; and technology & entrepreneurial companies. Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 250 largest law firms.


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