Some people are very skilled at making money and protecting what they make from taxes during their lifetimes. Now, some wealthy individuals can even manage to make/save money just based on their dates of death. George Steinbrenner, an amazing businessman and majority owner of the New York
Yankees, is the most iconic symbol of this death tax lottery system that Congress has allowed to come to fruition. Steinbrenner died on July 13th, 2010 and by doing so, managed to save his heirs an estimated $500 million in federal estate tax. Yes, that is One-Half of a BILLION dollars of savings because he did not die in 2009 (45% Highest Marginal Tax Rate) or 2011 (Expected 55% Highest Marginal Tax Rate). A HALF OF A BILLION DOLLARS is a mind numbing number and one that should resonate as we await a Congressional decision (or lack of decision) on what will happen to the federal estate tax in 2011 and beyond. Read this NY Post article outlining the federal estate tax savings for the Steinbrenner Family.
For those baseball fans reading this post, the Steinbrenner family will likely only retain its ownership interest in the Yankees because of the immaculate timing George Steinbrenner had even up to his date of death. Knowing Steinbrenner’s love for the Yankees, it should not be surprising that this would be his final act to preserve the family ownership.