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Estate Planning

The Still Uncertain Future of the Death Tax

Well, January 1, 2010, has come and gone and still the Congress can’t seem to get around to fixing the problems of the death tax we have been talkig about since 2000. As the end of 2009 approached , Congressmen and Senators alike agreed that something HAD to be done. Then they went home for the Christmas break without doing anything.

And, things have not progressed since they came back to Washington in January. Health care “reform” still seems to be the only thing on their agenda.

Already in 2010 some very wealthy people who were hanging on by a thread until 2010 arrived have died. Now, if the Congress tries to impose an estate tax retroactive to January 1, years of litigation that almost certainly will wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court are a virtual certainty.

Therefore, the most likely scenario for 2010 is that Congress will either offer an option for those who die in 2010 before the enactment of changes in the death tax or will make whatever change they finally agree on prospective only. Of course, the ability of the Congress to do nothing has to always be considered, so the $1 Million exemption may actually come back in 2011.

Regardless of what the Congress does, we at Brown & Lacallade havve our clients covered. Our planning documents are carefully designed to work as intended under virtually all possible death tax scenarios.

Procrastination remains the greatest danger to the predictable, effective, and efficient transfer of your accumulated wealth on your passing. As the old sayign goes, “stuff happens.” Some of that “stuff” can deprive you of the ability to implement the planning your family needs.

Don’t let the inaction of Congress paralyze you into failing to provide predictability for your and your family’s future.

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