Although there there will likely be no federal estate tax in 2010, the beneficial “step-up” in capital gains tax basis on property owned by a decedent at death, is now limited to $1.3 million. The limited “step-up” may be allocated among the decedent’s assets by the Executor or Administrator unless otherwise directed in a decedent’s last will. As a result of the limited basis step-up, the heirs of a decedent dying in 2010 might owe capital gain taxes that they would not have previously owed. This process will be very challenging when having to sift through historical splits, mergers and dividend reinvestment. Read this article to learn more about the accounting nightmare that will result from these tax law changes. In reality, this may leave many heirs of estates that fall between $1.3 million through $3.5 million in 2010 paying more in capital gain taxes than would have been owed in estate taxes.
Please contact Douglas L. Kaune, Esq, to discuss your particular case and to determine how the federal estate tax laws of 2010 impact your planning.