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Key Tax & Financial Figures for Estate Planning in 2014

Important Figures to Know As You Plan for 2014

Beginning January 1, 2014, several federal agencies will be providing cost of living increases to select government programs and tax related laws. Be sure you have current information before you take steps to qualify for Medicaid or, make gifts and certainly discuss it with your accountant. Here are a few of the most important changes:

  1. Federal Gift Tax Exclusion: This sum will remain at $14,000.00 per person to an unlimited number of individuals. Married couples can use split-gifting and gift up to $28,000.00 per person.
  2. Federal Estate Tax Exclusion: Up to $5.34 million dollars will be excluded at the death of an individual. Any sum over this amount will be taxed. Consult with your estate planning attorney and accountant on the options to reduce your estate tax.
  3. Medicaid Home Equity Limit: A home is exempt in Florida up to the equity value of $543,000.00. That means the value of the home does not prevent a person from receiving Medicaid benefits.
  4. Medicaid Income Limit: Florida is one of fourteen states that imposes an income limit for a Medicaid applicant. It will be set at $2,163.00 per month; this is gross before deductions.
  5. Medicaid Community Spouse Resource Allowance: When a member of a married couple becomes ill and applies for Medicaid the healthy spouse can keep up to $117,240.00 of countable resources (i.e. bank accounts, investments). There are assets that are exempt (whose value does not count) which can be kept in addition to the countable resources.

The Medicaid rules and tax laws have many nuances so it is important to have all your advisors working together to explore the options and the consequences. Medicaid now has a 5 year look-back period – if you have made gifts during this period it will delay your ability to qualify for Medicaid – don’t dabble, seek qualified advice.

Meet with a qualified elder law attorney and create a plan that will make the aging process easier for you and provide for the comfort and care of your loved ones. Our firm is here to guide you.

We want to be your trusted planning advisor through life.