A/B Trust Diagram: $22,400,000 Estate
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017, doubled the gift and estate tax basic exclusion amount to $11,180,000 in 2018. It is $11,400,000 in 2019. After 2025, the exclusion is scheduled to revert to its pre-2018 level, being cut by about one-half.
Prior to 2011, each taxpayer was entitled to use only the exclusion allotted to him or her, and any unused exclusion amount would be lost. A married couple could ensure they fully used their respective exclusion amounts by implementing an estate plan that split a spouse's estate into a marital portion (Trust A) and credit shelter portion (Trust B), as illustrated.