In this article, our McHenry County estate tax lawyers explain how estate tax works and some of the tools that we use to help our clients avoid it. Estate tax is taxed on both the federal and state level. The Illinois estate tax exemption is $4 million. Our McHenry County estate tax attorneys use AB Trusts to allow married couples to take advantage of one-another's exemptions. We use Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITS) to remove your life insurance death benefit from your taxable estate. We also use Grantory Retained Annuity Trusts, Grantor Retained Unitrusts, and Grantor Retained Income Trusts (GRITs, GRATs, and GRUTs) to allow business and real estate assets to accumulate in value wihtout the accumulated value being included in the taxable estate.