Estate Planning: Managing Estate Taxes - T. Rowe Price

Most estates are not subject to federal estate tax given the fact that the exemption amount per individual in 2013 is $5.25 million and per married couple $10.5 million. It is still useful to know the general mechanics of estate and gift taxes, however.

The estate tax exemption amount ($5.25 million in 2013) is now unified with the gift tax and generation-skipping exemption amounts, meaning that you can make gifts of some or all of the $5.25 million while you are alive if you wish, with the remainder used at your death to offset some or all of any estate taxes due.