At the end of 2012 many people justifiably feared that the estate tax and lifetime gift tax exemptions would be drastically reduced at the beginning of the new year. They were scheduled to do so unless there was some kind of action from Congress. Many people did not expect Congress to do anything. Most people thought that even if Congress did something, that the end result would still be a reduction in the exemptions. This led people to institute radical gifting plans at the end of the year.
As we now know, the new year has actually brought us no change to the estate and lifetime gift tax exemptions other than a slight increase to them because of inflation. Almost everyone was wrong about what would happen. This has brought about a new problem for many people. They are now sorry that they did all of that gifting at the end on 2012.
The truth is that the gifting was wise even though it was unnecessary in retrospect. Do not feel bad if you were one of the people who gave a lot of money and property away at the end of the year. The bright side is that you started an estate plan and have figured out a lot of your important end of life decisions. You are ahead of the curve. For that, you should be happy, not sorry.
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