Last year, Congress set the top estate-and-gift-tax rate at 40 percent and raised the exemption to $5 million per person, adjusted for inflation.
So next year, the rate will be $5.43 million per person, or almost $11 million for couples.
In contrast, in 2004, the estates of people who died owning assets worth more than $1.5 million — or who made gifts above that limit while alive — were subject to federal tax at top rates nearing 50 percent, and married couples had to set up trusts to benefit from their full $3 million estate exemption.
So if you're rich, you need to adjust your estate planning, now that the pressure from estate taxes has declined, says The Wall Street Journal.
Of course, if that's news to you, the question is how you got rich in the first place.