Christopher J. Burns Featured in Private Wealth, Discusses Federal Gift Tax Exemption

June 2, 2013

At the end of 2012, fearing the federal gift exemption was about to shrink from $5.12 million to $1 million, many affluent individuals made gifts to family members. To almost everyone’s surprise, however, not only did Congress renew the $5.12 million federal gift tax exemption, they increased it to $5.25 million.

Estate planning, trust and probate attorney, Christopher J. Burns, recently contributed to an article in Private Wealth magazine that focused on this subject. He noted that people generally don’t like to give up control of their assets, regardless of the tax laws.

“People get attached to real estate for example, like a family cabin that might have special and unique memories,” says Burns. “Sometimes the gift feels like you are dispensing with the memory. In the right situation, a gift may be a tax wise solution, but a gift needs to be the right solution from a number of different perspectives. These perspectives often take a great deal of time to process. We had some time last year, but clients clearly would have preferred more time to give things the thoughtful attention necessary. Hopefully, after years of uncertainty we will have a period of certainty from a federal estate and gift tax perspective for a prolonged period of time.”



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