There is currently a bill before the House Ways and Means Committee that would radically increase the federal estate (also known as the “Death Tax”).
Are you trying to pass on assets, investments, family land or farms, or a family business? If you are, then things might be about to get a lot rougher. Many middle class and affluent families have real estate and businesses that have a high value but are very illiquid.
Many of these families consider themselves to be blessed, they don’t consider themselves to be rich and in fact, live very simple lifestyles.
These families often pay a high amount of taxes during their lives but hope to pass on assets without a higher estate tax. However, the increase from $2 million dollars to $3.5 million dollars might not be enough to help these families because of a few provisions in bills like this that take away long standing tax payer rights and techniques (such as minority and marketability discounts for family limited partnerships) and impose potentially much higher taxes on many families.
I will continue to keep you posted on changes in the tax law that might have an effect on your planning.