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Inflation Reset Lets Wealthy Americans Give Heirs Even More Tax-Free

The US lifetime estate-and-gift tax exemption is up to almost $26 million for married couples after the highest inflation in decades adjusted the threshold.

General Economy in Afghanistan
Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Even after a year in which the vast majority of the wealthiest Americans lost a chunk of their fortunes — and in some cases, lost big — in at least one way, they’re still coming out ahead.

The rich are starting 2023 with millions more dollars that they can lavish on future generations without triggering the US estate and gift tax. Last year’s inflation, the highest in decades, means married couples can now hand their heirs almost $26 million tax-free, $1.7 million more than in 2022 and $2.4 million more than in 2021.