Current law does not impose death taxes unless your taxable estate exceeds $3.5 million. That $3.5 million becomes unlimited for calendar year 2010 unless Congress takes action before year-end. This means that if Bill and Melinda Gates died next year, instead of the government receiving perhaps billions in death taxes, they would receive nothing…nada…zippo! And think of all the wealthy people who are in hospitals on life support. Avoiding millions in estate taxes would give a whole new meaning to ‘Pull the Plug’! We all know the government is not going to allow this to happen, but time is fast running out.
- Congress’ failure to take action makes it extremely difficult to properly plan your estate. Take a moment to estimate your Estate Net Worth: All of your assets plus all of your life insurance on both spouses minus all of your liabilities. If the net result is greater than $3.5 million, sit down with an estate attorney to review your estate plan.
- If the net result is greater than $1 million, watch closely to see what Congress does next year regarding estate taxes. They’ll either do nothing and allow the amount you can pass on free of death taxes to revert back to $1 million or they’ll make a permanent change based on a higher limit. Plan your estate accordingly.
- Let your voice be heard. Contact your congressional representative and demand that they address this issue quickly so that you can properly plan your estate for your family. Go to the Resource Center at www.welchgroup.com; click on ‘Links’; then Congressional Representatives Contact List.
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