ESTATE TAX – Tax Planning

With planning a married couple may use two exemptions from Washington estate tax.  Without planning, the exemption of the first spouse to die is often lost.  There are a variety of techniques for limiting the imposition of estate tax.  If your estate is large enough to be subject to estate tax, you are welcome to contact me to review your situation and the options available for reducing or eliminating your estate tax liability.

According to current law, the exemptions from estate tax are as follows:

Year of death

Federal Exemption Amount

Washington  Exemption Amount


$5,120,000 $2,000,000
















For the purpose of calculating the size of your estate that may be subject to federal estate tax, assets on hand at date of death are added with gifts made during your lifetime that exceed the federal annual gift tax exclusion amount.  Such exclusion amounts, which apply for each gift recipient, are as follows:

Date Gift Made

Annual Exclusion from Federal Gift Tax

Prior to 1982


1983 to 2001


2002 to 2005


2006 to 2008


2009 to 2012


2013 to 2017



Elizabeth A. Perry, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, has been helping Clark County residents with their estate planning needs for over 20 years. Her practice emphasizes wills, trusts, probate and Medicaid planning. You are invited to call her to schedule an appointment or sign up for a class at (360) 816-2485. ©Liz Perry 2015

This information was updated December 2016.  Please be aware that tax law changes frequently.

(The above should not be construed as specific legal advice and is intended for general information purposes only)

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