Many people are concerned that a significant portion of their estates will be consumed by federal estate tax. Federal estate and gift taxes are really a single tax on the value of property transferred from one person to another. The gift tax applies to transfers during life and the estate tax to transfers on death. Estate and gift tax rates are high. However, very few gifts and estates are actually taxed because of generous exemptions, exclusions, and deductions. The Estate Tax Lifetime Estate and Gift Tax Exemption Each individual is entitled to transfer a certain dollar value of property without any estate (or gift) tax liability. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 doubled the estate tax exemption to approximately $11 million. The exemption is indexed for inflation and is expected to rise each year. In 2025, the exemption will be cut in half to its 2017 level unless Congress enacts a new law. The amount of the exemption is reduced by any taxable gifts you have made during your life. Because of the exemption, less than .1 percent of estates will be subject to estate tax. That translates into fewer than two thousand estates per year.