On September 15, 2010, the New York Times published Devising Strategies While the Estate Tax Is in Limbo, by Deborah L. Jacobs:
The federal estate tax is scheduled to rise from the ashes on Jan. 1, and a lot more families may feel its bite unless Congress changes current law.
The resulting uncertainty about what Congress might do, and if and when Congress might do it, is complicating financial planning and is a particular burden to the retired, who must find a balance between what they need to live on and how much they might give away to avoid estate taxes. Fortunately, a number of strategies are available, and not all of them involve depleting your resources.
Jacobs discusses making annual exclusion gifts and using the lifetime exemption, and then specifically highlights the following strategies, which “can help preserve assets for heirs without breaking your bank”:
- buy life insurance
- finance college savings
- create a trust
Bridget E. Murray, What to do while we wait for congress to act, Law Office of Bridget E. Murray, Sept. 17, 2010. Murray finds paying an estate tax more inviting that remarrying:
Personally, while I’d love my estate to pass to my heirs tax free, the thought of having them pay taxes would not, in and of itself, send me back to the alter. However, for all you wedding planners out there, feel free to use this as one more possible selling point for the married life!
Joseph Timothy Hahn, Estate Tax Strategies While Estate Taxes Are In Limbo, Hahn's Estate Planning Attorney Blog, Sept. 19, 2010: “All very good advice.”
Jacobs is the author of Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide. Jacobs issues updates that can be downloaded from the book's Web site www.estateplanningsmarts.com, and tweets at http://twitter.com/djworking.