How Large Is Your Estate?Kiplinger.com
Although you don't have to pay any federal estate taxes until your taxable estate exceeds $3.5 million, you might be surprised by all the things the government counts in getting there. (Although the $3.5 million threshold for 2009 lapsed at the end of the year, and the estate tax disappeared in 2010, Congress is expected to reinstitute the estate tax retroactively to the beginning of 2010, and extend the thresholds and tax rates that were in effect in 2009 (or make them even more generous). Without congressional action, the estate tax will reappear in 2011, reverting to the levels in effect in 2001: a $1 million threshold and a 50% tax rate.
In the worksheet below, the ownership column is included because how you own property is pivotal to how much of its value will be included in your estate when you die. In the "value" column, include the following:
The full value of property of which you are the sole owner
Half the value of property you own jointly with your spouse with right of survivorship
Your share of property owned with others
Half the value of community property if you live in a community-property state
Also include the value of the proceeds of an insurance policy on your life if you own the policy, your vested interest in pension and profit-sharing plans, and the value of property in revocable trusts.
[The worksheet is located at the end of this page. Please scroll to the bottom.]ASSETS VALUE WHO OWNS IT Cash in checking, savings, money-market accounts Stocks Bonds Mutual funds Other investments Real estate Personal property (including furniture, cars, clothing, etc.) Art, antiques, collectibles Proceeds of life insurance policies you own on your life Pension and profit-sharing benefits, IRAs, etc. Business interests Money owed to you Other TOTAL ASSETS
LIABILITIES Mortgages Loans and notes Taxes Consumer debt Other TOTAL LIABILITIES
NET ESTATE (total assets minus total liabilities):