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"Once an unchanging area of law, in recent years both federal and New York State estate taxation has undergone (and will continue to undergo) many changes. In 2010, the federal “Exemption Amount”—that is, the amount that can pass free of estate tax—increased to $5,000,000. The new law also provided that the federal Exemption Amount be indexed for inflation (for 2016, it’s $5,450,000), and allows a husband and wife to elect to combine their Exemption Amounts (called “portability”), thereby avoiding estate tax on $10,900,000 of assets."

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