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Estate planning basics

For 2016, every person is entitled to what is called a unified credit (we call it a "freebie") of $5.45 million As of today, 20 states have an estate tax; this area is in a constant state of flux Gifts can help divide family income by taking advantage of the zero or low tax bracket of one or more family members

It happens about two times a week, at least over 100 times a year. What? A reader of this column calls me with an estate planning question, but has no clue about the basics of the subject. So, this article is a keeper. Put it in a safe place, so you can refer to it when needed.