Estate-Tax Repeal Means Some Spouses Are Left Out and 2010 is a Great Year to Die

Because of congressional “malpractice”, the federal estate tax is repealed for all of 2010. As reported by Martin Vaughn in the January 2-3, 2009 issue of the Wall Street Journal, certain provisions included in most wills and trust documents that were written on the expectation that estate taxes were a fact of life for years to come is wreaking havoc in the world of tax attorneys and estate planners. One unintended consequence of Congress’ failure to do its job is caused by a common provision in a will or trust that direct assets not subject to the estate tax (the amounts excluded from the estate tax by law), bypass the surviving spouse and be directed downstream to benefit the decedant’s children. Since there is no estate tax in 2010, (100% exclusion) all the decedant’s assets will simply bypass the spouse and go straight to the children. Do not pass go, do not collect $200!

An even more creepy unintended consequence is the possibility that some wealthy, terminally ill person or those ungrateful kids who hate step-Mommy and who will stand benefit from Daddy’s early demise may choose to “pull the plug” in 2010 or pray that Daddy “goes to Heaven” sooner rather than later. We all know that a family who prays together stays together. “Take That!” Who says a Democratic controlled Congress doesn’t stand for “family values”?

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