Estate Planning

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Estate Tax

Estate tax is also known as the "death tax".  It is a regressive tax on the estate of a deceased person above a certain exempted amount.  Currently the exemption for the federal estate tax is two million dollars but in 2010 it will be suspended all together for one year.  It is scheduled to resurface in 2011 with an exemption of one million dollars.  Many States also impose an estate tax.

Financial assets payable or transferable upon death along with life insurance benefits, if the deceased owned the life insurance policy or if it was payable to the estate, are included in the total assets of the estate for tax purposes.  However, charitable contributions by the estate can be used to reduce the taxable amount of the estate.

The estate tax rate adjusts slightly year to year but hovers right around 50% on the taxable amount of an estate.  It is believed by sane people that this tax should be abolished.  It destroys small family businesses when the primary owner of the business dies.  For instance, a family owned business started and owned by ones father worth $5 million and earning a reasonable $400,000 yearly would create an estate tax burden of at least $1.5 million.  If the father owned other assets such as a $500,000 home, another $250,000 in estate taxes would be owed.  Few families in business for themselves are able to make a $1.5 million to $2 million dollar sudden payment without selling their father's business and, thus, putting themselves out of business.

Unfortunately, many in Congress cannot control their penchant for large spending bills and prefer to tax the heck out of Americans rather than reign in their spending appetite.

 

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Estate Tax News
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Hooksteadaposs Hot Take: Youaposre A Communist If You Support The Death Tax ...
Hookstead39s Hot Take: You39re A Communist If You Support The Death Tax The Daily Caller There might be nothing worse with the American government right now than the fact the estate tax remains in our tax code. For those who don39t know, the estate tax, sometimes referred to as a death tax, is a tax placed on certain people39s estates after

As Congress Debates Repeal Of The Estate Tax, Why Not Consider The Hill Blog
The Hill blog As Congress debates repeal of the estate tax, why not consider The Hill blog OPINION Leaders in Washington should make sure that repeal of the death tax, includes all three taxes that have been unified together for decades estate, and more raquo

Tax Cuts On The Way For Some Minnesotans Opponents Say They Are Too Expensive...
Minneapolis Star Tribune Tax cuts on the way for some Minnesotans opponents say they are too expensive, directed at wealthy Minneapolis Star Tribune Davids said Republicans and the many DFLers who voted for the bill are looking out for family businesses and farmers with 500 acres who may need to sell acreage just to pay the estate tax. With the tax cut, which will cost 44 million in the year and more raquo

Paul Ryan Reiterates Goal To Kill Estate Tax, Maintain Retirementsavings Ince...
InvestmentNews Paul Ryan reiterates goal to kill estate tax, maintain retirement savings incentives InvestmentNews He steered clear of the controversial border adjusted tax concept in his tax plan, which Mr. Ryan has said would help pay for the steep rate cuts all Republicans want. In his television interview just minutes later, he said the BAT isn39t dead but Ryan: Tax overhaul will prioritize savings, eliminate estate taxFox Business all 109 news articles raquo

Why More States Are Killing Estate Taxes WSJ Wall Street Journal Subscription
Wall Street Journal subscription Why More States Are Killing Estate Taxes WSJ Wall Street Journal subscription In the last three years, nine states have eliminated or lowered their estate taxes, mostly by raising exemptions. And more reductions are coming. and more raquo

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Facts of Law explaining what is the estate tax

Facts of Law - What Is Estate Tax