The end of 2012 saw an unprecedented surge of activity for estate planning attorneys and advisors counseling clients to implement estate plans before the 2013 changes in the law, which would have reduced gift and estate tax exemptions to $1 million.  As it turned out, the American Taxpayer Relief Act enacted on January 2, 2013,

Significant estate tax planning opportunities which are available under current legislation may be eliminated or severely restricted after December 31, 2012.  It is therefore critical to evaluate whether steps should be taken this year to maximize estate tax savings.

For the following reasons, 2012 is the year to implement tax reduction strategies:

  1. The federal law