Apr 21, 2010

Step Right Up to the Estate Planning Sideshow!

Step right up, folks! See this year's estate planning oddities, brought to you by Congress and this year's bizarre federal estate tax situation!

People trying to get the best tax deal for their families are going to some pretty strange lengths. For example,  they're establishing living wills that request life-prolonging measures if the estate tax exists, asking to pull the plug if it doesn't!
But who can blame these folks? America is living in a legislative limbo. Since Jan. 1, 2001, there has been no estate tax due to congressional inaction. If Congress fails to act before the end of this year, the estate tax will return to its pre-2001 levels on Jan. 1, 2011, with tax on estates over $1,000,000. But Congress could act and change next year's tax levels... or even bring the estate tax back this year at some level, possibly making it retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010. No one knows.

National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" had an entertaining and informative report on this situation. Listen.

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