Among the many changes to the U.S. tax code that became law today when the President signed the legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”) are the doubling of the Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax exemption amounts from $5 million to $10 million per individual, with additional inflation adjustments as under prior law. The increased exemption amounts, however, are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2025.

We anticipate that estate planning in 2018 will be focused on reviewing Wills and other testamentary documents to make sure they continue to function appropriately in this new tax environment (particularly if they contain “formula dispositions” of the type described in this memorandum) and, where appropriate, on taking advantage of the increased exemption amounts through additional lifetime gifting.

We have prepared a memo, which you can find here, that provides an overview of the Federal estate, gift and GST tax rules that will be in place during 2018, and that describes the current Connecticut, New York and New Jersey transfer tax rules.