On July 19, 2010, Mike Miliard posted VOICES: Joshua Rubenstein, On Taxes in the Twilight Zone on Financial Advisor, a Wall Street Journal blog. Miliard shares with readers the insight and advice of Joshua Rubenstein, co-managing partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman in New York:
We’re in a sort of twilight zone right now where, technically speaking, there hasn’t been an estate tax for the first half of the year; it sunset as of January 1. Congress keeps talking about reinstating it retroactively. . . .
So my advice to clients is to be as flexible as possible and to try to anticipate as many different eventualities as they can.
My advice to Congress is this. Either reinstate it retroactively, or leave it alone and let it come back in 2011. But absolutely do not give the executor the choice as to which regime they’d rather have (which some lawmakers are talking about doing). Because there’s another word for an executor who gets to choose which beneficiaries get how much money: defendant.
[Updated 7/23/10 to correct hyperlink.]