December 2022 Newsletter

2022 was pretty eventful for me: I saw my son off to college (Go Gauchos!), completed 345 Wordle puzzles (99% wins), finally got Covid (mild case), and finished my 6-year term on the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California Lawyer’s Association.  I hope you all had a fruitful 2022 and are looking forward to what’s to come in 2023.  Happy Holidays!


The estate tax exclusion for 2023 is $13.61 million; and

The annual gift tax exclusion is $17,000. 


Keep in mind that on January 1, 2026, the estate tax exclusion will drop in half to $5 million, inflation adjusted (so at least $6.5 million), unless Congress affirmatively acts to retain the higher exclusion.  Given the recent election, it’s not likely that Congress will be able to agree on new tax measures, but we’ll have to see what happens in the next 3 years. 

I don’t have much to report on changes in California law in the field of trusts & estates.  There is one case before the California Supreme Court which will clarify how a person can amend his trust (must he use the method specified in his trust document, or can he use a simpler method allowed in the Probate Code?), but that case is not likely to be decided for months. 

I don’t want to leave you all empty-handed, however, so I’m going to encourage you to go back to my earlier newsletters on the following topics:

Unfortunately, as much as I hate to contribute to the “wage-price spiral”, my costs have been going up along with inflation, and I need to raise my rates accordingly.  This will not affect any existing clients with current work, but for new clients (and for existing clients with new projects that begin in 2023), my rates will increase by about 8%. 

I will be on vacation from December 24 to January 9.  During my break, I will be returning emergency messages and scheduling appointments for later in January.  Have a wonderful Holiday, and I’ll look forward to speaking with many of you in the New Year.


Contact Information

o Telephone: (408) 358-6900 

o Fax: (408) 358-6903

o Email:


The information contained on this site is not intended as legal advice. You should consult qualified legal counsel before acting on any information on this site. Carol Elias Zolla is only licensed to practice law in the State of California, and will not advise anyone on the laws of any other state. If you choose to send an email to Carol, please do not include any confidential or sensitive information. The law firm has no duty to keep confidential the information you may transmit, and your email will not form an attorney-client relationship. If you choose to subscribe to our newsletter, that will not form an attorney-client relationship, and we will have no affirmative duty to advise you of changes in California or federal law.