Another big change is estate tax, although short of planning to die in 2010, there's not much you can do to take advantage of the current hiatus. There's no estate tax in 2010, and we don't yet know exactly how 2011 deaths will be taxed. People who had the tax clairvoyance to die in 2010 may skate by without any federal estate tax, although a retroactive estate tax to scoop in 2010 estates is still quite possible.
If Congress tries to retroactively impose an estate tax on 2010 deaths, I'm betting there will be litigation raising constitutional issues. Texas oilman Dan Duncan and California real estate mogul Walter Shorenstein are among the billionaires who have died in 2010, so there are billions of tax dollars at stake. It seems unlikely that taxes of this magnitude will be paid without a fight, and such a fight may impact smaller estates too. If your family experienced a 2010 death, you should watch this area closely. (For more on the complications faced by such families, click here.)