Good Money: Your guide to financial planning & socially responsible investing
ESTATE TAXES – WHICH WAY WILL THEY GO?
By Judith L. Seid, CFP ®
President, Blue Summit Financial Group
Estate Tax Reform
President George W. Bush's 10-year, $1.35 trillion across-the-board tax cut, passed in 2001, included a slow-but-steady reduction of the amount of wealth that is subject to "the death tax." Under the law, the value of an inheritance exempt from estate taxation increased from $1 million in 2001 to $3.5 million in 2009. In addition, the tax rate on inheritances larger than that decreased from 55% to 45%. And currently with a $3.5m exemption amount, this allows a couple who have done proper estate planning to leave a $7m estate completely free of federal estate taxes to their heirs.
But this tax is scheduled to revert to the 2001 pre-Bush levels (55% rate on estates over $1 million); unless Congress takes action this year and passes new legislation.