Currently, the estate tax exemption is set at $2 million. This means that you may leave up to $2 million in assets to your heirs after your death tax free. In 2009, that amount will increase to $3.5 million, and in 2010 the tax is scheduled to be repealed completely. Then, the exemption will revert back to $1 million in 2011.
When planning for taxes as a part of your estate planning, you must take into account estate, gift, capital gains and property taxes. And tax laws often change. Consulting with a lawyer about proper estate planning can significantly reduce your estate and total tax burden.