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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Estate Tax Puzzle Becoming Clearer According to Kiplinger

According to a recent Kiplinger Report, the future of estate taxes is becoming clearer:

"A quick refresher course: Back in 2001, Congress passed a law to phase out the tax. The amount Americans can pass to their heirs tax-free was set to rise from $675,000 in 2001 to $3.5 million by 2009 (it's $2 million this year). Then, in 2010, the estate tax was supposed to expire. But there was a catch: The tax was also scheduled to rise from the dead in 2011 with a paltry $1 million exemption.

That seesaw scenario is what had a lot of people pulling out their hair instead of planning. Although the schedule is still in place, it's clear that it will never happen. Why not? The next president is against it. John McCain and Barack Obama oppose repeal of the estate tax.

Obama would let the $3.5 million exemption continue; McCain would prefer a $5 million exemption. Because the law allows married couples to double the tax-free amounts, it's likely that, in the future, couples could leave their heirs a minimum of $7 million -- and maybe up to $10 million -- before Uncle Sam gets a bite of their assets."

For the full report, click http://tiny.cc/aateela


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