Estate Taxes

Estate taxes are due when someone of significant net worth dies.  There is a Federal Estate Tax system and some states, but not all, have their on State Estate Tax system.  Federal estate tax rates are extremely high at 40% and the States are more of a marginal system varying from 8% to 16%.  The Estate Tax system is often called the death tax, but only affects very few individuals in America.

Why Most People Should Be In Favor of the Federal Estate Tax

I think it is a very easy and popular position to be against the federal estate tax (affectionately known as the "death tax").  The arguments against the estate tax range from the simple, "the government should death tax it is hard enough" to the bit more sophisticated, "the decedent was already taxed on all earnings and capital gains."  Despite being a libertarian I think I could even make an argument, albeit a weak one, that there may be societal good in preventing a further concentration of wealth.  It is weak because even with the estate tax there has been an obvious concentration [...]

By | 2014-03-06T00:13:08+00:00 March 6th, 2014|Estate Taxes|0 Comments

I Can’t Believe I have Been Blogging for 4 Years

On August 5th of 2008 I put up my first post.  I had no idea if anyone would read about my journey, nevertheless care about what was going on in my life, but I wanted to share my thoughts with whoever wanted to read them.  Since putting that first post up I have seen somewhere between 570,000 and 630,000 pageviews (analytics vs sitemeter) and while that is probably a day’s worth of views for a news site I am pretty happy with it, especially since most of the first year or so I was getting under 15 page views a day. I [...]

What is Portability in Estate Planning?

There were a lot of tax law changes (as well as a lot of things that were kept the exact same) when President Obama signed into law the Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation of Act of 2011, but there was one change that simply put, shocked me.  It was the brand new idea that your Credit Shelter Amount was Portable. How is the Federal Estate Tax Calculated? It was over two years ago that I penned a back of napkin explanation of how to calculate your federal estate taxes.  While the numbers we are going to use have changed and I [...]

By | 2013-09-26T14:59:51+00:00 April 18th, 2011|Estate Taxes|1 Comment

The House Passes Estate Tax Bill to Freeze Current Exemptions and Rates

In a vote closer than I expected the house passed, an Estate Tax Bill!  For all intents and purposes the bill freezes the Federal Estate Tax (Remember State Estate tax is different) so that every U.S. Citizen has a $3,500,000 exemption and anything above that amount is effectively taxed at 45%. The Bill passed 225 to 200, with Republicans (and 26 Dems) voting against the bill. Republicans voted against the Bill in hopes for a more generous Bill which would abolish all estate taxes or raise the exemption even higher to $5,000,000. I go back and forth on the Estate Tax. As a [...]

By | 2013-09-26T15:01:48+00:00 December 4th, 2009|Estate Taxes|4 Comments

Forget the Federal Estate Tax, You May Need to Worry About State Estate Taxes!

Almost every single day, I have to explain the Federal Estate Tax. The people I have to explain the federal estate tax to are not tax professionals, they are either financial advisors, other attorneys, or successful business owners. So, needless to say, I better explain estate taxes from 30,000 feet above. The details do not matter nearly as much as the idea of how the estate tax works, or more importantly how the estate tax will affect them or their clients. In the past I explained how to easily calculate the Federal Estate Tax, but lets focus on the point that the [...]

By | 2013-09-26T15:01:50+00:00 September 29th, 2009|Estate Taxes|2 Comments