Congress recently passed legislation to keep the federal estate tax exclusion at $3.5 million. Taxable estates would be taxed at 45%. The bill is now with the Senate. Without any legislation there would be an unlimited federal estate tax exclusion in 2010. In 2011, the estate tax exclusion would go back to $1 million and a tax rate of 55%.
Why the change? Two reasons:
―The government needs the money.
―The "wealthy" can't die without paying their "fair share."
What do you need to do? Sit tight until this becomes law. This bill or some close variation of it should become law soon. Schedule an appointment with your estate planning attorney. There are numerous reasons to make an appointment now. The most important reason is to take care of your family and other beneficiaries.
ACTION ITEM: Contact your estate planning attorney to make an appointment. Have your attorney make sure all of your estate planning documents are exaclty what you want now.