A primary goal of estate planning is to establish a strategy that transfers assets to heirs efficiently and economically. One of the biggest considerations in reaching this goal is the federal estate tax. This calculator shows how federal estate taxes might affect your estate and, in turn, the amount you could pass on to heirs.
Any property that passes to a spouse who is a U.S. citizen is generally excluded from federal estate taxes. For assets bequeathed to other heirs (including proceeds from your life insurance policies), your exposure to estate taxes generally depends on the size of your estate. Federal tax law allows you to bequeath a specified portion of your estate free of federal estate taxes. This amount, known as the exclusion amount, has changed frequently in recent years.
Keep in mind that this calculator does not take into account any state or local transfer taxes nor federal generation-skipping taxes. It does not constitute tax or legal advice. Estate planning is a very complex endeavor and should only be undertaken with the assistance of qualified tax and legal professionals. The calculator assumes that you have not taken any steps (such as trusts) to manage the impact of estate taxes, and does not factor in lifetime use of your exclusion amount. The calculator also does not factor in the marital deduction from federal estate tax, which is potentially applicable if there is a surviving spouse.
To see how current federal estate tax rates and exclusions might affect what you (and your spouse, if married) could potentially leave for your heirs, fill in the following information.