In this article, our Saint Charles estate tax lawyers explain the ramifications of the new federal estate tax law. Although the new federal estate tax exemption was recently doubled, the Illinois estate tax exemption remains at $4 million. This means that estates with assets in excess of $4 million, including life insurance death benefits, will still be subject to Illinois estate tax. Even if your estate will not be subject to estate tax, if you own your home and do not have a proper estate plan that incorporates a revocable living trust, your estate will likely require a costly probate case. The upshot is, that for residents of Illinois, estate planning strategies should not significantly change based on the new federal tax law.