I live in Sioux Falls and have five children. What amount of assets can I pass at my death without incurring a federal estate tax?

Under current law, the amount of assets you can pass after your death without incurring estate tax (known as the estate tax exemption amount) varies depending upon the year of your death.

Estate tax exemption amounts

Calendar year  Estate tax exemption
2005  $1,500,000
2006  $2,000,000
2007  $2,000,000
2008  $2,000,000
2009  $3,500,000
2010  $5,000,000
2011  $5,000,000*
2012  $5,120,000*
2013  $5,250,000*

* This amount will be adjusted for inflation annually.

The estate tax exemption amount is reduced dollar-for-dollar if you've used all or part of the $5.25 million gift tax exemption during your lifetime.

Keep in mind that South Dakota does not impose an estate or inheritance tax. 

Source:  The Vanguard Group, Inc.