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House Considers Estate Tax Legislation

One of the big mysteries in the estate planning world is what the government would do to keep the estate tax from expiring in 2010 as scheduled. It has always been clear, even when the House was controlled by Republicans, that we would never allow the estate tax to expire completely.

It was always assumed that a permanent solution would be agreed upon that would shelter some level of income above $600,000 per person and most likely tie it to the CPI for inflation adjustments into the future. However, the government has been a bit busy with other things and now finds itself with six weeks to do something or face an automatic expiration of the estate tax for one year and a return to the a much lower exemption level.

Charlie Rangle, Chair of Ways and Means, initially proposed a one-year extension of the current exemption and tax rate, but House leadership intervened and asked him to come back with a permanent solution prior to year-end.

Clarity on this issue will be good for everyone, from planners like us to clients trying to plan for the future and structure their estates within the confines of the law, so they can leave their children more than “alone.”

Enjoy The Temptations video – this is one of my favorite songs and this live performance really takes me back to the early 70’s when music was truly a force for social commentary and positive change in our society.